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Opto, cum Melanethone et EccletJa Anglicana, per canalem Antlquitatis dedud ad not 
dogmata fidei e fonte Saene Scripturae derivata. AUoquin, quit fiitunu ett novandl 
finis r — CAtAUB. BpM. 774. 










TI. With abstract objections to the doctrine of the Trinity, 
the present Work, from the very nature of its argu- 
ment, has no concern, p. 8. 



After the adduction of such a mass of evidence, it may well seem 
strange, that, down even to a comparatively late period, a 
vast majority of acknowledged Catholics should, uninter- 
rujitedly from the very beginning, have been strenuous Anti- 
trii^tarians who rejected with abhorrence the doctrine of 
Christ's divinity, p. 13. 

I. Yet such is the fact, which Dr. Priestley has imdertaken 
to establish on the basis of historical testimony, p. 13. 
II. Hence an examination of the documents, on which he 
would establish his alleged fact, is plainly rendered 
necessary, p. 14. 
III. The three authors, whom he adduces in support of his 
fact, shall be considered, agreeably to the plan of the 
present Work, in chronologicaUy retrogressive order : 
Athanasius; Origen; Tertullian. p. 16. 



The testimony of Athanasius as given by Dr. Priestley, p. 18. 
I. Athanasius attests no such &ct, as that which he has 
been adduced to establish, p. 19. 
1 . The doctri]]|||0^^f of Samosata he pronounces to 
be an im 


2. Xotices respecting the pfaiaMology of Athanasius. 
p. 23. 
(1.) Notice of the true import of a verb employed by 

him. p. 2S. 
(2.) Notice of an important pliraae employed by Him. 

p. 24. 
II. Tlie Antitrinitaiiana, in the tame of Athanasius, what- 
ever mi^t have been their nomber, were declared 
apottatet from their orig^al faith in the HoIyTrinity. 
p. 26. 
III. Dr. Priestley seems to have been aware, that this ob- 
vious answer would be given to his pretended testi- 
mony : hence, in defiance of the very evidence af- 
forded by his own fireely selected author Athanasius, 
be vould intimate, that the antitrinitarian teachers of 
that period did not make men converts to Unipcrgon- 
alism, but that tbey found them Unipersonallsts al- 
ready, p. 28. 
IV. It may be doubted, whether the multitude, in the days 
of Athanasius, can be conceded to Dr. Priestley, 
p. 29. 

1. The prevalent aberration &om the &ith, in the days 
of Athanasius, was not SamosatenUm Humanita- 
rianitm, but the speculation denominated Arianum. 
p. 30. 

2. Heal import of the expression the many, as used by 
Athanasius. p. 30. 



The testimony of Origen is as little to the purpose at 
Athanasius. p. 32. 

I. Origen's supposed testimony is discovered i 
several (»neurring passages, p. 32. 


1. The first passage, p. 83. 

2. The second passage, p. 34. 

3. The third passage, p. 35. 

II. These three passages are adduced to prove, that, In the 
time of Origerif the gentile Christians were generally 
Unitarians, who rejected with abhorrence the doctrine 
of our Lord^s divinity, p. 35. 
III. The unport of the three passages has been totally mis- 
understood, p. 37. 

1. Primitive discipline of the Ecclesiastical Mysteries, 
p. 40. 

2. To the mechanism of this discipline the three pas- 
sages most undoubtedly refer, p. 43. 

(1.) Examination of the first passage, p. 43. 
(2.) Joint examination of the second and third pas- 
sages, p. 49. 
8. The real testimony of Origen is precisely the re- 
verse of that, which has been rashly ascribed to him 
by writers of the modem Antitrinitarian School, 
p. 54. 



The testimony of Tertullian, with the three propositions de- 
duced fix)m it by Dr. Priestley and other writers of the mo- 
dem Antitrinitarian School, p. 58. 

I. The first proposition is : that The majority of believers, 
within tlie pale of the Catholic Church and in actual 
allowed communion with the Catholic Church, were, in 
the days of Tertullian, zealous Antitrinitarians. p. 64. 

1. No such assertion is made in any part of the alleged 

testimony of Tertullian. p. 65. 

2. Throughout his writings, his unvarying declaration 

is, that the \l^^rship of the second person of the 



Trinity was uniyersally prevalent in every coun- 
try where the Gospelj^aa planted, p. 69. 
II. The second proposition is : that Tke overwhelming 
\ majority of catholic Antitrinitarians utterly abhorred 

the doctrine of ChrisVs divinity^ contending, like the 
modem Antitrimtarians, for the doctrine of his mere 
humanity, p. 72. 

1. This second proposition Ib not more true than the 
first, p. 72. 

2. The Antitnnitarians, censured hy Tertullian, instead 
of asserting the mere humanity of Christ, main- 
tained Ids exclusive unipersonal divinity, p. 74. 

8. Proof of this assertion, p. 80. 
(1.) From the immediate context of the alleged tes- 
timony itself, p. 82. 
(2.) From other passages in the course of the Trea- 
tise which contains the alleged testimony. 
p. 85. 
(8.) From the attestation of the ancient Supplemen- 
ter to Tertullian's Tractate against Heretics, 
p. 87. 
4. The doctrinal difference between the ancient Catho- 
lics and the patripassian Antitrinitarians. p. 87. 
III. The third proposition is : that The antitrinitarian sys^ 
tem of the illiterates, censured by Tertulliany was in 
truth the faith of the Catholic Church from the very 
beginning ; while the doctrine ofTertullian himself 
was a mere speculative innovation, which confessedly 
met with small acceptance among the honest and sim* 
ple^minded majority, p. 89. 

1. This third proposition stands directly opposed to 
,the whole avowed purport of the testimony itself. 

" p. 89. 

2. The testimony, instead of being &vourable to the 
cause of modem Antitrinitarianism, is decidedly 
hostile to it. p. 93. 


(1.) Statement of the ground of this assertion. 

p. 95. 
(2.) Similar reasoning of Novatian. p. 96. 


p. 100. 

Five several propositions may be deduced from the language of 
Dr. Priestley relative to the alleged conduct of Justin Martyr, 
p. 107. 

I. According to Dr. Priestley, When the novel doctrines of 
Christ*s preexistence and divinity were first introduced 
by Justin Martyr y they met with much opposition : for 
most of his contemporaries held the bare humanity of 
our Lord, Hence his language has all the air of an 
apology : and it seems evidently to proceed from a 
man, who was not very confident of his opinion, and 
who was aware that he had not the sanction of the 
majority, p. 110. 

1. This notion is built upon a gross mistranslation and 

perversion of a passage in the Dialogue with Try- 
pho. p. 110. 

2. The true translation and sense of the passage. 

p. 113. 

3. The declaration of Justin is exactly the reverse of 

that, which Dr. Priestley has put into his mouth. 
p. 114. 

4. "iVith the pretended proof vanishes the pretended 

apology, p. 117. 
II. Dr. Priestley further learns^ from the phraseology of 
Justin, that, In UAJjm^ii^atiltrmiiariafu, who denied 


the godhead ofChriit, were very far from being reck- 
oned heretics; thought afterward^ they were pro- 
nounced to be such by Irenhu : a circumstance, which 
at once accounts for Justin's extraordinary civility to 
his humanitarian contemporaries, and evinces the 
conscious unpopular innovator, p. 120. 

1. The times of Jiistin and the times of Iren^us were 

the same : because, though Ireneus was the sur- 
vivor of Justin, Justin and Irendus were contem-- 
poraries. p. 120. 

2. Therefore, since Ireneus confessedly declares the 

humanitarian Ebionites to be heretics, they must 
thence have been esteemed heretics in the days of 
Justin ; though, in speaking of them, Justin him- 
self may not have employed that precise appella- 
tion, p. 124. 
III. K, however, we may credit Dr. Priestiey, Justin speaks 
of his opinion as a doubtful one, and by no means 
propounds it as a necessary article of Christian 
Faith. Hence, distrusting the soundness of that 
hitherto unheard of novelty which he wished to intro- 
duce, and conscious that he had not the sanction of 
the majority along with him, he carefully provided a 
decent retreat for himself, in case his new speculation 
should be found untenable, p. 127. 

1. The passage, on which Dr. Priestley builds this 

notion, is merely a specimen of that very common 
mode of reasoning, the argumentwn ad hominem. 
p. 128. 

2. Immediately after the enunciation of the passage in 

question, Justin goes on to declare, that the majo- 
rity of believers agreed in doctrine with himself. 
p. 130. 

3. Conclusion from Justin's argument, p. 130. 

4. Erroneous deduction of Dr. Priestley, p. 131. 




p. 164. 

As Dr. Priestley asserts the strict Humanitarianism of the 
primitiye Church: so, consistently, he denies, that the New 
Testament furnishes any instance of the divine adoration of 
Christ p. 164. 

I. Proo( to the contrary, from the fiuniliar descriptive title 
borne by the earliest believers : They that call upon 
the name of Jesus Christ, jp. 167. 

1. The rendering of this title, proposed by modem 

Antitrinitarians, is irreconcileable with scriptural 
chronology, p. 169. 

2. It is likewise irreconcileable with the well ascer- 

tained apostolic use of the phrase, p. 172. 
(1.) First proof, p. 172. 
(2.) Second proof, p. 176. 
(3.) Third proof, p. 177. 
(4.) Summary of proofs and conclusion, p. 180. 

3. It is furthermore irreconcileable with the received 

interpretation of the early Church, p. 182. 
(1.) Tertullian. p. 182. 
(2.) Novatian. p. 183. 
(3.) Cyprian, p. 183. 
(4.) Jerome, p. 184. 

4. It stands, therefore, on no surer ground, than the 

mere unauthorised dictum of a modem School of 
Theology, p. 184. 
II. Proof to the contrary, from the recorded action of 
Stephen in the agonies of martyrdom, p. 185. 

1. Ineffectual gloss of Dr. Priestley, p. 187. 

2. Ineffectual solution of Mr. Lindsey and the Editor 

of the New Testament in an Improved Version, 
p. 190. 


(1.) Solution of Mr. Lindsey on the principle of 

VISIBILITY, p. 190. 

(2.) Solution of the Editor with an improvement 
upon that of Mr. Lindsey. p. 191. 

(3.) Their solutions rest on an unsubstantiated fact. 
p. 194. ^ 

III. Proof to the contrary, from the self-recorded actions of 

the two Apostles Paul and John. p. 195. 

1. Action of St. Paul. p. 195. 

2. Action of St. John. p. 198. 



The Fathers, who are chiefly said to have been indebted to the 
gentile philosophers for the doctrines of the Trinity and the 
Logos, are Justin, Ireneus, Athenagoras, Tertullian, and 
Clement of Alexandria, p. 202. 

I. Had those ancient ecclesiastics borrowed from the gen- 
tile philosophers, they could not have spoken of them 
in the language of contempt, p. 203. 

1. Exemplification from the language of Justin, p. 203. 

2. Exemplification from the language of Tertullian. 

p. 205. 
II. Those early ecclesiastics describe the philosophy of the 
Gentiles, as the fruitful parent of every heresy, 
p. 208. 

1. Such is tiie language of Ireneus. p. 208. 

2. Such also are the declarations of Tertullian. p. 209. 
III. Whatever was good in the philosophy of the Gentiles, 

is alleged by those early ecclesiastics to have been 
stolen or borrowed from Moses and the prophets, 
p. 211. 


1. Such was the theory Of Justin, p. 211. 

2. Such also was the theory of Clement of Alexandria. 

p. 216. 
IV. The Trinity of Plato, p. 217. 



It is alleged by modem Antitrinitaiians, that the Trinity of the 
early Fathers differed essentially from the Trinity of the 
modem Catholic Church : for, though the Son's equality with 
the Father be the present accredited orthodoxy, the original 
introducers of Trinitarianism stoutly maintained the Son's 
decided inferiority. Of the alleged difference, in short, the 
full and complete statement is this. According to Dr. 
Priestley and others of the same School, The Trinity of 
the early Fathers was very different from the Trinity of the 
modern Catholic Church* For the Trinity of the former con- 
sisted of three unequal persons, among whom the Father is 
SUPREME : while the Trinity of the latter consists of three equal 
persons, among whom the Father is not supreme, p. 225. 
I. A statement and examination of the real doctrine held 
by the old Ecclesiastical Writers, p. 231. 

1. Evolution of their doctrine in separate propositions, 
p. 231. 

(1.) First proj^sition. p. 231. 
(2.) Second proposition, p. 231. 
(S.) Third proposition, p. 233. 

2. Remarks on the propositions, p. 234. 

(1.) Remarks on the first proposition, p. 234. 
(2.) Remarks on the second proposition, p. 235. 
(8.) Remarks on the third proposition, p. 236. 

3. Summary, p. 237. 


4. CitationB illustratiye of the primitive view of the 

inequality subsisting between the three persons of 
the Trinity, p. 289. 
(1.) Inequality, from substantial emanation and 

orderly gradation, p. 239. 
(2.) Inequality, firom the hypostatical union of God 

and man in one Christ, p. 242. 
(3.) Inequality, from the spontaneous economical 
acceptance and discharge of office, p. 243. 

5. Remarks on the language of C3rprian, Novatian, and 

Origen. p. 247. 
(1.) First remark, p. 247* 
(2.) Second remark, p. 247. 
(3.) Third remark, p. 248. 
II. Erroneous deductions of modem Antitrinitarians from 
the writings of the ancient ecclesiastics, p. 249. 

1. The ancient Catholic Church and the modem Catho- 

lic Church perfectly symbolise in their doctrinal 
views respecting the Trinity, p. 250. 

2. Statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, as pro- 

pounded by some of the ablest and most accre- 
dited of the modem Catholics, p. 251. 

(1.) Bishop Pearson, p. 251. 

(2.) Dr. Waterland. p. 254, 

(3.) Bishop Bull. p. 255. 

3. The doctrine of these modem divines has been the 

doctrine of the Catholic Church in all ages. p. 
III. Allegation of Dr. Priestley, that the early Christian 
Writers style the Father god contradistinctively 
from the Son, and that they sometimes call the 
Father the only true god exclusively of the Son. 
p. 257. 
1. Remarks on the allegation, p. 257. 
(1.) Remarks on the first proposition in the allega- 
tion, p. 258. 


(2.) Remarks on the second proposition in the alle- 
gation, p. 262. 
2. Summary respecting the allegation, p. 268. 



Dr. Priestley and Mr. Lindsey assert, that None of the ante- 
nicene Fathers acknowledged the proper ^vinity of Chriit. 
p. 271. 

I. The error of their assertion demonstrated, from the 
circumstance, that the antenicene Fathers believed 
Christ to be Jehovah, the God of Abraham and Isaac 
and Jacob, p. 273. 

1. Such was the recorded faith of Justin, Iren^us, 

Tertullian, Novatian, Hippolytus, Theophilus of 
Antioch, Clement of Alexandria, and Dionysius 
of Alexandria. Such also was the avowed doc- 
trine of the entire primitive Catholic Church, 
as we learn from one of her ancient symbols, 
p. 274. 

2. It wiU be observed, that the question before us is 

not, whether such an opinion be abstractedly well 

or ill founded, but whether in point of fact it 

was entertained by the antenicene Fathers, p. 279. 

II. The error of their assertion demonstrated, from the 

doctrine of consubstantiality, held by the Ante- 

nicenes as well as by the Postnicenes. p. 280. 

1. Proof from their own writings, both that the word 

consubstantial was used, and that the doctrine of 

consubstantiality was held, by the Antenicenes. 

p. 282. 


2. Proof from their standing mode of illustrating the 
doctrine, p. 288. 

(1.) Physical illustrations of the doctrine, as uni- 
formly employed by the successive Fathers, 
Justin, Athenagoras, Theognostus, Tertullian, 
Hippolytus, Origen, Dionysius of Alexandria, 
and Lactantius. p. 288. 

(2.) Necessary result of such illustrations, p. 291. 

(3.) Intention of such illustrations expressly de- 
clared by Origen. p. 292. 

(4.) Adoption of the most prominent of these illus- 
trations, itself avowedly borrowed from St 
Paul, by the Fathers of the first Nioene 
Council, for the specific purpose of setting 
forth the doctrine of consubstantiality. 
p. 293. 

(5.) Such illustrations, whDe they set forth the doc- 
trine of the Son's consubstantiality, addi- 
tionally propound also the doctrine of his 

ETERNITY, p. 294. 

3. The doctrinal system of the Antenicenes and the 
Postnicenes was one and the same. p. 296. 
III. Conclusion and general result of the whole inquiry, 
p. 296. 



YEAR 269. p. 301. 





p. 326. 



p. 334. 


The cause and plan of the Inquiry, p. 334. 
TOI.. II. a 



Evidence from John vii. 20, 27. p. 338. 


Evidence from the Jewish estimation of a claim of the Messiah- 
ship, p. 342. 


Evidence from Justin Martyr and Mahnonides. p. 351. 


Evidence from the fluctuating conduct of our Lord's disciples. 

p. 362. 


Summary and conclusion* p. 367. 



HEB. i. 1,2. p. 370. 




The doctrine of satisfaction, p. 379. 

The doctrine oC^^^^H^BtB* ^^* 











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. Hat. lib. i. 



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Icpa^X, Bci, 




It. iv. Opcr 

. p. 327. 

IlXdrwi'iic, oilt IloOayApiiv, o^ilj otXwc oMi- 

.'avric. — AtaXoyiC^/iivoc n irpie ifiBUrAi> roiyc 

M70UC nvrui-, :'}vgv tEpacDv fiXoffo^'av ^fff aXq rt jcai «£fi^ 

fmi. OitrM£ ^4 *o' ^'•1 ravra ^iaafof iyu. Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. 

Oper. p. 172, 173, 174. 

Hsrencoram patrUrctue philosophi. Tertull. adv. Hennog. } 4. Oper. 



A Work, which professes faithfully to exhibit the 
testimony borne by History to the apostolic anti- 
quity and the apostolic sanction of the doctrine of 
the Trinity, would be incomplete, were it to leave 
unnoticed the objections of those, who, on the 
very basis of History itself, profess to deny the 
apostolic antiquity and the apostolic sanction of 
that doctrine. 

In order, therefore, that nothing, so far as my 
own knowledge extends, may be kept back from 
the honest and diligent inquirer, I shall proceed 
to state and examine the several objections which 
respect the important fact at present under dis- 

I. The objections, alleged by Dr. Priestley and 
those who symbolise with him in his theological 
system, may be conveniently stated and arranged 
in manner following. 


1. Had Trinitarianism been the doctrine of the 
Catholic Church from the very beginning, all the 
various individuals, who were in professed commu- 
nion with the Catholic Church, must obviously 
have been Trinitarians. 

Yet, even so late as the middle of the fourth 
century, we find Athanasius complaining, that the 
lower classes of Christians were for the most part 

2. A complaint of a similar nature had pre- 
viously been made by Origen about the middle of 
the third century. 

Hence it is evident, that the great majority of 
believers, even in communion with the Catholic 
Church herself, formed an uninterrupted succes*^ 
sion of Unitarians, from the middle of the third 
century, down to the middle of the fourth. 

3. But these simple-minded and honest Christ- 
ians did not first spring up in the time of Origen. 
On the contrary, we find precisely the same lan- 
guage employed by Tertullian, who flourished at 
the end of the second and at the beginning of the 
third century. 

He admits, while he complains, that the greater 
part of believers in his days abhorred the doc- 
trine of the Trinity : and he states, that, on 
genuine unitarian principles, they rejected the 
divinity of the Son, and that they stoutly con- 
tended for the exclusive divinity of the Father. 

4. As the great body of Christians, within the 


pale of the Catholic Church, from the time of 
TertulUan down even to the time of Athanasius, 
were thus zealous Unitarians : so, agreeably to our 
natural anticipation from the striking fact that 
The early Chriatiant were generally Antitrinkariimt 
who demed the godhead af the mere nmn Jesua of 
Nazareth, Justin Martyr, by whom and others of 
the similarly philosophising Fathers the primitive 
unitarian faith was grievously corrupted through a 
gradual introduction of the doctrine of the Trinity, 
adopts a very singular tone of gentleness and com- 
plaisance toward that vast majority from whose 
mone simple and more ancient creed he had most 
unhappily been led to deviate. 

This remarkable circumstance distinctly shews 
the conscious innovator : for it exhibits the precise 
line of conduct, which would be followed by a 
person, who knew that he was starting a pre- 
viously unheard of doctrine, and who was fully 
aware that the great mass of believers held and 
had always held opinions of a totally different 

The conduct, therefore, of the yet earlier Justin 
exactly tallies with the angry testimony to the 
vast prevalence of Antitrinitarianism even within 
the pale of the Catholic Church, so reluctantly 
home by Tertullian and Origen and Athanasius. 
Justin meekly insinuates his own novel specula- 
tions : and he ventures not, like later theologians, 
to style those, who rejected them, heretics. 


5. Accordingly, if we chronologically advance 
still higher than Justin, and if we advert to the 
testimony of the apostolical writers themselves, 
we shall find, in the volume of the New Testa- 
ment, no traces of any worship of Christ either a^ 
enjoined or as practised. 

This circumstance, on the trinitarian scheme, 
is utterly unaccountable : but, with tlie direct evi- 
dence in favour of the early Christians having been 
(as Dr. Priestley speaks) generally Unitarians, it 
beautifully and exactly and harmoniously tallies. 

6. Such, then, being the faith of the great mass 
of primitive believers down even to the time of 
Athanasius, while the novel doctrines of the Tri- 
nity and Christ's godhead were gradually intro- 
duced by certain of the philosophising Fathers: 
we are naturally led to ask, whence it was that 
the Fathers themselves received those doctrines ? 

To this question a very easy reply is afforded. 

The Fathers, most undoubtedly, borrowed the 
doctrines in question from the pagan school of the 
Platonists : and, what at first was only their own 
peculiar cabbala, gradually insinuating itself into 
Christianity, thus became at length the popular 
no less than the philosophical belief. 

7. Yet the Trinity, as first introduced and re- 
ceived, long differed widely from the Trinity of 
more modem Christianity. 

For, though the Son's equality with the FatJier 
be the present accredited orthodoxy, the original 


introducers and favourers of Trinitarianism stoutly 
maintained the Soris decided inferiority. 

Such a circumstance, by the very fact of cumu- 
lative discrepance, clearly marks the progress of 
corruption. And, at the same time, it perfectly 
harmonises with the direct evidence of Athanasius 
and Origen and Tertullian : that The bulk of the 
more simple believers, even in their days successively, 
that is to say, from the latter end of the second cen- 
tury to the middle of the fourth, were still, unin- 
terruptedly, determined and uncompromising Uni- 

8. Agreeably to these several statements, the 
early Fathers, that is to say, the Fathers who 
flourished before the first Nicene Council, never 
ascribe proper divinity to the Son. But, when- 
ever they depart from the primitive doctrine of 
the mere manhood of Christ, they exhibit him, 
not as being truly God, but only as possessing 
that sort of secondary created divinity which cha- 
racterised the system afterward known by the 
name of Arianism ^ 

^ A greater than either Dr. Priestley or Mr. Lindsey, the 
very learned Jesuit Dionysius Petavius, had already, long before 
their time, advanced pretty nearly the same opinion as that 
which is here last enumerated in § i. 8. 

He asserted, that the antenicene writers symbolised, at least 
in a great measure, with Arius : for, though they acknowledged 
the Son to be of the substance or nature of the Father, yet they 
taught his inferiority to the Father in point of duration and 


II. Such, I believe, are the chief objections, 
which, by Dr. Priestley and his associates, have 

power no lest than in point of ecumenical order and dignity ; 
inasmuch as, like all God's creatures, he had in time a com- 
mencement of existence, and had by no means subsisted as a 
distinct hypostasis from aU eternity. Petav. de Trin. lib. i. 
c. 5, 7, 8. See Bull. Defens. Fid. Nic. proem. § 7. 

I have more than once observed Petavius adduced, with no 
small triumph, by the pupils of the modem school of Antitri- 
nitarianism : but I have never observed, on their part, the ad- 
ditional communication of certain other particulars, which, in 
common equity and candour, ought not to have been kept back 
from their readers. 

I. With respect to the opinion expressed by Petavius, there 
is but too much reason to fear, that it was dishonestly ad- 
vanced, for the purpose, of extolling the authority of Ecume- 
nical Councils to decree new Articles of Faith, and of thus sub- 
serving the interests of the Church of Rome. 

For the whole drift of his argument, like that of Hosius, 
Gordon, Gretser, Tanner, Vega, Possevin, Wickus, Perron, 
Fisher, Floyd, and other writers of the same stamp, goes to 
shew : that the doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ's essential 
godhead can be proved, neither from Scripture, nor from the 
consent of the primitive antenicene Fathers ; but that their truth 
rests entirely upon ecclesiastical decisions. 

Whence the obvious and intended conclusion is : that those, 
who submit not to the Church of Rome as an infallible arbi- 
tress in points of Faith, can have no assurance of the truth 
of such doctrines. 

II. Be this as it may, and whatever was the object of Pe- 
tavius in advancing such an opinion, his mere authority^ on 
which some modern Antitrinitarians seem so confidently to 
rely, is nothing in respect to a bare question of fact, unless the 
alleged fact itself ca^|^atablished by competent evidence. 



been started against the alleged apostolicity of the 
doctrine of the Trinity. 

Now, to judge t^aach evidence, requires hoaesty and dili- 
gence, rather than any special meaaare of talent and acnteneta : 
and tbe antbority of a great name in a question of thit sort is 
bat a foundatitxi of aand, unless it be accompanied by invincible 

- III. But the grand particular, in tbe auppressing and with- 
holding of which from their unsuspidoua readers otir Antitri- 
utarian authors are preeminently culpable, yet remains to be 

Whether, at an earlier period of his life, Fetavius was, or was 
not, sincere, in the assertion tvhicb he hazarded : at a tubte- 
^nent period, he confessed it to be erroneous, and retracted it 

Ta do justice to the memory of mo learned a man at Petaviut, 
■ays the excellent Mr. Nelson, the Bishop of Meavx told me, 
discottrnng with hint once on thit tubject, that, in the latt edi- 
turn he made of hit Workt, he retracted thit ojnnion, Hickes's 
LeUers, p. 334. 

1. The very able and acute Bossuet had penetration enough 
to see, that such a mode of serving the Roman Church, aa that 
so unhappily and so unworthily adopted by Fetavius and others, 
was in truth nothing better than an undermining of the doctrine 
of the Trinity and an exposing of it to the ridicule and con- 
tempt of every impugner. 

For, if the doctrine of Christ's essential and personally •eter- 
nal divinity cannot, by the plain and natural construction of 
lai^uage, be proved from Scripture; and if, additionally, it 
was never held by the most ancient Fathers and Doctors of the 
Antenicene Church Catholic: the united testimony of criticism 
and of history will, in that case, be so strong against it, that it 
will be utterly incapable of establishment by the bare decision 
of any later Ecumenical Council. 

i. This, 


With respect to the mere abstract difficulties 
which the doctrine itself is said inherently to in- 

2. This, I believe, is felt and acknowledged by the more 
wise and the more judicious members of the Latin Communion : 
for, in good sooth, they owe but small thanks to those, who 
would aggrandise their Church on principles manifestly and 
inherently untenable. 

I am myself no prejudiced bigot against Ecumenical Coun- 
cils, merely as such. On the contrary, I can readily conceive 
an Ecumenical Council beneficially to define, in imperishable 
writing, an article of faith, which from Scripture and from the 
well-ascertained teaching of the Apostles had always indeed 
been held by the Catholic Church, but which hitherto (no con- 
troversy having sprung up relative to the subject) had not 
with ecclesiastical formality and precision been thus defined. 

But, while this I can readily conceive, no man breathing can 
apprehend the possibility of an Ecumenical Council makings 
by its mere dogmatical and unsupported decision, a doctrine to 
be trtief which the entire Catholic Church had always anteriorly 
held to he false. 

3. In fact, the very definition of articles of faith implies their 
previous existence : and such definition has always arisen, not 
from the circumstance of their previous non-existence, but 
from the circumstance of their having been impugned or per- 
verted by innovators and heretics. 

As no bare decree of an Ecumenical Council can, in the 
very nature of things, make the doctrine of Christ's essential 
godhead to be false : so, by a parity of necessary reasoning, no 
bare decree of an Ecumenical Council can make that doctrine 
to be true. 

On sufficient evidence, its truth or its falsehood may be de- 
clared by an Ecumenical Council : but such a declaration will 
always presuppose the existence of testimony anterior and prior 
to itself. 



volve, I have at present no special concern with 
them. My inquiry is altogether historical: and 
it regards nothing more than the naked question 

If the doctrine of Christ's essential godhead had invariably 
been rejected by the Catholic Church, from the time of the 
Apostles down to the commencement of the fourth century ; 
and if, harmoniously, no proof of it could be set up from the 
plain and natural construction of Holy Scripture : certainly, in 
that case, no hare decision of the Ecumenical Council of Nice 
could suddenly make a doctrine to be true, which bore upon 
its very front the indelible impress of falsehood. 

The Nicene Fathers, however, acted much more rationally, 
than, according to the original crude assertion of Petavius, they 
could have acted. Instead of absurdly pretending, hy their 
own hare fiat to make a hitherto universally rejected doctrine to 
be true: they very rationally rest their declarative decision 
upon the well-known fact of antiquity and priority. 

This, say they, is the apostolic and blameless faith of the 
Church : which faith, ultimately derived from the Lord himself 
through the Apostles, and Iianded down from our forefatliers to 
their successors, the Church religiously preserves, and maintains 
the same both now and for ever. Gelas. Cyzic. Hist. Concil. 
Nic. prim. lib. ii. c. 23. Labb. Concil. vol. ii. p. 224. 

4. Statements of the character of those once hazarded by 
Petavius must ultimately prove fatal to the cause, which it was 
their object to serve: for, instead of really advancing the 
authority of Ecumenical Councils, they, by plain necessity, 
strip them of all authority whatsoever. 

Petavius, however, retracted : and those antitrinitarian 
writers, who, to serve their own ends, from time to time ad- 
duce the unguarded assertion of that great scholar of the Latin 
Church, ought also to have communicated to their readers the 
not quite unimportant fact of his retractation. 


of FACT ; Whether the doctrine before us was, or was 
not, the doctrine taught by the Apostles and from 
them received by the primitive Catholic Church. 

Hence I have no concern with any objections^ 
save those which respect the bare question of the 
FACT now under discussion. 



If the mass of evidence already produced be of 
any weight ia the scale of TriDitarianism, it may 
well seem strange : that, down to a compara- 
tively late period, the middle of the fourth cen- 
tury, a vast majority of the professed and admitted 
members of the Church Catholic should, never- 
theless, have uninterruptedly been, from the very 
beginning, a mighty body of strenuous doctrinal 
Antitxinitarians ; who r^ected with abhorrence 
the divinity of Christ, who denied the distinct 
personality of the Spirit, and who vehemently con- 
tended for the exclusive godhead of the Father. 

I. That certain innovators upon the primitive 
faith occasionally attempted to introduce specu- 
lations, which by the Catholic Church were from 
the very first deemed heretical; and that such 


innovators quitted the communion of the Church 
from whose well defined doctrines they had apos- 
tatised^ and henceforth formed themselves into 
separate sects or parties : is^ indeed, a fact fami- 
liarly known to every student of ecclesiastical 

But^ that the favourite tenets of certain of these 
innovators should always have been held by an in- 
calculable majority of believers within the pale of 
the Catholic Church down even so late as the 
age of Athanasius or the middle of the fourth cen- 
tury, may, with the evidence now before us, be 
reasonably deemed a paradox of most appalling 

Yet, in this high field of theological adventure, 
it has pleased Dr. Priestley to expatiate with no 
small measure of triumphant confidence : and, 
under the express character of a diligent historian, 
he has claimed to adduce direct evidence in favour 
of the early Christians being generally what he 
denominates Unitarians ^ 

IL Concerning the blended Antitrinitarianism 
and Humanitarianism of the primitive believers 
who constituted the Church Catholic of the first 
ages. Dr. Priestley is not a little positive. 

That the common people among Christians, says 
he, were actually Unitarians in the early ages, and 
believed nothing of tlie pre'existence or divinity of 

Hist, of Early Qpin. book iii. chap. 13. sect. 2. 


Christ before the Council of Nice, we have as ex- 
press testimony as can be desired in the case *. 

Now this express testimony is discovered in 
certain passages, which he has adduced from the 
writings of Tertullian and Origen and Athanasius. 

But the testimony of those Fathers, at least as 
it is exhibited by the historian, more especially 
the testimony of Tertullian and of Origen, stands 
in such strange and direct and paradoxical con- 
tradiction to the whole body of evidence which 
has passed in review before us, that it is im- 
possible to refrain from suspecting the existence 
dther of some extraordinary misapprehension or 
of some unwarrantable misrepresentation. 

Such being the case, a minute and careful ex- 
amination of the passages in question, passages 
evidently by Dr. Priestley considered as his strong- 
hold, will not be deemed altogether useless : and 
I am the more led to undertake the task, partly 
because these passages have been repeatedly and 
triumphantly brought forward both by the historian 
himself and by his zealous followers, and partly 
because I do not recollect to have ever seen them 
discussed with that distinct and precise reference 
to the theory built upon them, which the just es- 
tablishment of the truth certainly requires. 

HisL of Early Opin. book jii. chap. 13. sect. t. Works 
Ti. p. 48£. 


IIL Dr. Priestley adduces his three authors in 
their regular chronological succession dowmvard: 
first, TertuUian ; next, Origen ; and, lastly, Atha- 

Agreeably, however, to the plan of arrangement, 
which, throughout the present discussion, I have 
been led to adopt, I shall exactly invert the 
downward order of chronological succession : and 
thus, beginning with the age of Athanasius, I shall 
trace upward, in the respective ages of Origen and 
TertuUian, that overwhelming majority of Unita- 
rians mthin the pale of the Church, if haply they 
can there be found to, have always existed, which, 
according to Dr. Priestley, characterised so emi- 
nently a period extending at the least from the 
latter end of the second century to the middle of 
the fourth. 

This retrogressive mode of investigation I con- 
sider both the best and the fairest. For, if we 
cannot discover Dr. Priestley's mass of catholic 
Unitarians in the age of Athanasius ; it by no 
means therefore follows, that they existed not in 
the earlier age of Origen : and, if they should 
prove to be invisible in the age of Origen ; we 
must not therefore too hastily conclude, that they 
are imperceptible in the yet earlier age of Ter- 

In short, if Dr. Priestley can retain the evidence 
of the more ancient TertuUian, as that evidence is 


exhibited by himself in his History of Early Opi- 
nions : his friends will have small need to regret 
the loss of the evidence, which has been thought 
to be afTorded by the less ancient Origen and 



The testimony of Athanasius, to the mighty pre- 
valence OF unitarianism within the pale of the 
CATHOLIC CHURCH about the middle of the fourth 
century, is, according to Dr. Priestley, full and 
decisive and express. 

I subjoin the historian's own account of the 
matter, as set forth in his own precise words. 

Athanasius also, like Tertullian, acknowledged: 
that the unitarian doctrine was very prevalent, among 
the lower class of people in his time. He calls them 
THE many : and he describes them, as persons of low 

It grieves, he says, those who stand up for the 
holy faith, that the multitude, and especially per- 
sons of low understanding, should be infected with 
those blasphemies. Things, that are sublime and 
difficult, are not to be apprehended except by 
faith : and ignorant people must fall, if they can- 
not be persuaded to rest in faith and to avoid 
curious questions. 


This being ilic language oj eoinplaint, as reel I as 
that of Tertullian, it may be the more depended on 
for exhibiting a state of things very unfavourable to 
what was called the orthodoxy of that age. And 
it was not the doctrine of Arius, but that of Paulus 
Samosatensis, that Athanasius is here complain^ 
ing of \ 

I. For the better estimation of the evidence 
here adduced by Dr. Priestley, it will be useful to 
impress upon the mind a clear idea, both of his 
object, and of his mode of effecting his object. 

The object of Dr. Priestley is, to establish the 
alleged historical fact : that Humanitarian Antitri- 
nitarianism was the doctrine, not mei*ely of a few 
innovating individuals, but of the catholic church 
ITSELF, /row the very beginning. 

And the establishment of this alleged fact he 
would accomplish, through the medium of a pro- 
posed historical demonstration : that Humanitarian 
Afditrimtarianism continued, in unbroken succes- 
sion, to prevail, among the great body of unlearned 
and uncorrupted believers within the very pale 
OF THE catholic CHURCH ITSELF, through the seve- 
ral ages of Tertullian and Orige?i, doxvn even to 
the time of AthanoMUS ; eojch individual having 
always and from his very cradle professed such 
doctrine, as his father and his grandfather, receiving 

* Hkt. of Early Opin. book iii. chap. 13. sect. 2. Works, vol. 
▼L p. 489. 

C 2 A 


it front their predecessors, had, before him, professed 


Now^ as this is plainly the sole medium, through 
which Dr. Priestley's object can possibly be effected : 
so the citation from Athanasius, even as translated 
and given by himself, does not, in the slightest 
degree, further that object. On the contrary, 
nothing can be more evident, than that it is abso- 
lutely hostile to his theory : insomuch that, for the 
purpose of effectually subverting it, there is no 
passage which I should be more inclined to adduce 
than the present 

Athanasius does not complain of the prevalence 
of an opinion, which yet he is constrained to 
acknowledge had always and from their very 
INFANCY been the hereditary opinion of an incal- 
culable majority of simple-minded believers within 
THE PALE OF THE CHURCH ', the poiut, plainly neces- 
sary for Dr. Priestley's purpose : but he laments ; 
that such INNOVATORS as the followers of Paul of 
Samosata should have succeeded in recently per- 
verting some of the vulgar from the ancient 
apostolic FAITH, by taking advantage of their 
ignorance, and by thence the more easily perplex- 
ing them with captious abstract objections to the 
doctrine of the Trinity. 

Hence the whole evidence of the learned Father 
goes to shew ; that the individuals in question had 
not ALWAYS been antitrinitarian Humanitarians, but 
that they had newly become so through the in- 


strumentality of these innovating teachers : and, 
what Athanasius complains of or rather what he 
laments, is, not their confessed aboriginal error, 
but their mere well-known recent perversion. 

The INNOVATION of Paul of Satnosata, says he, 
whwk attempts to overturn the great mystery re- 
tpecting Christ, grieved the holy Synod. And it 
now also grieves those who stand up for the holy 
faith: ina»much as, respecting the self-same blas- 
phemies, it still injures the many, and most especi- 
ally those who are low in understanding. For 
matters, which are great and difficult of apprehen- 
mn, are received by faith toward God. Whence 
those, who are impotent in knowledge, fall away, 
unless they can be persuaded to coSTlNUB in tlie 
fmth and to avoid airious questions. — But we ex- 
hort you, as also we exhort ourselves, to guard the 


away from unhallowed novelties '. 

' 'EXvTct fiiv TT^v bifiav aiivoSov IlavXou roS Xaftaaarcut ^ 
tnaortifilit, TO l^lya fuiarifptov to Kara XpHTrui- aVarpiTrEic iV(- 
\lifiovaa' XtTii hi KaX vvv to<iq dyrf}(0/icyouc Ttjt &ylas iriortiuc, 
4 Ttpl Tuy ahriv liKttinl,r]fiiuiy jflAdnrouffa Toit ToWove, fiaKitrra 
Toit ^XarrmfUtovc xepi Tijy aiinoiy. To yop /itydXo ral ZvoKa- 
raX^xra rwv Trpayfidrmy, ^lartt rp irpoc riv 9i6y, XaftfidyiTai. 
OOer 01 T<pi r^v yrutnv dSvyoTovyrtt djeowlirrouoiy, cl f^ rtiit- 
BtUy ififUyuv rp irWe< xa'i roc Tipitpyouc i'ljr^ffeit iKTpmfrdui. 
— napatvovfuy H u/iTf, oirtp tal iavToit wapatyouftiy, T^y rapu- 
ioOtiour rianv fvXtiTTny, iKrpivitrdai Si roc (it{Hlkoui icatyoijiia- 
r(at. Atfaan. de Incarn. Verb. eonl. Paul. Samosat. Oper. 
to), i. p. 401. 


Such is the attestation of Athanasius, when 
fully given, and when accurately exhibited in an 
english dress. 

1. The doctrine of Paul, which at that time 
was still injuring various individuals among the 
ignorant vulgar, he pronounces to be an innova- 
tion : and, on that precise ground of its novelty , 
he exhorts all christian believers to guard the 
faith which had been handed down from the apos- 
tolic age and to turn away from the upstart specu- 
lations of the Samosatenian . 

Now such language is plainly inconsistent with 
the position which Dr. Priestley would establish. 

For, if it had been a well-known fact; that 
The great majority of believers within the pale of 
THE church had always, both from their very 


FOREFATHERS, been antitrirdtarian Humanitarians: 
Athanasius could never have idly talked of their 
having been injured by the blasphemous inno- 
vation of Paul of Samosata. 

The very word injured implies the previous 
maintenance of a directly opposite theological 
system : and the very term innovation contradicts 
the notion of unbroken perpetuity. 

Had the multitude from their infancy, like their 
fathers and their fathers' fathers before them, t/i- 
cariably and immutably held the system of Paul : 
that system could not have been said to have in- 
jured them ; for, in such a supposed case, it 


would have simply left; them as it found them. 
And, had it been an universally notorious fact ; 
that The system in question, though now somewhat 
out of fashion among the philosophising Fathera, 
had been regularlif handed down, within the pale 
OP THE CHURCH, from the very time and on the very 
authority of the Apostles tkemsekes, in unbroken 
AND UNCHANGING SUCCESSION, by the great majority 
of believers : Athanasius, in a public controversy^ 
could never have dared to call it an innovation ; 
for it is obvious, that phraseology of this descrip- 
tion must have respected, not the truth or the 
falsehood of a doctrine, but the truth or the false- 
hood of a bare pact, concerning which every indi- 
vidual would be fully capable of forming a compe- 
tent judgment. 

2. Thus, even on the first inspection, the gene- 
ral tenor of the language employed by Athanasius 
distinctly imports : that These ignorant and fickle 
persona had relinquished their original faith and 
had recently adopted a new system instead of it. 

But the point is decided, if it require any de- 
cision, both by the import of a Greek verb which 
the learned Father has carefully introduced into 
his account of the matter, and by the tenor of a 
phrase which he has placed in studied opposition 
to the Greek verb in question. 

(l.j This verb, very defectively in sense and 
very inaccurately in mood. Dr. Priestley translates 
must fall '. 

' Gr. « 


But even mch a management of the word will 
not avail him. For, if, in the judgment of Atha- 
nasius, the ignorant individuals, under particular 
circumstances, must fall: they must also, previous 
to this their inevitable fall, have, in his judgment, 

Still more, then, shall we discern the palpable 
irrelevancy of the passage to Dr. Priestley's pur- 
pose, when, in sense and in mood, the verb is 
justly translated. 

Those, says Athanasius, who are impotent in 
knowledge, fall away or fall off or apostatise. 

Such is the proper rendering of the compound 
Greek verb employed by the zealous Father. 

The impotent in knowledge fall away or apos-^ 
tatise from something which they had previously 

What, then, was the doctrine, from which these 
ignorant persons/?// away, in consequence of their 
being perplexed by the captious objections or 
curious questions of Paul's antitrinitarian disci- 

Certainly, it was the doctrine, which they had 
previously held: and, no less certainly, the doc- 
trine, which they had previously held, was the 
precise doctrine received and defended by Atha- 

Hence it is abundantly manifest, that Their 
previously maintained doctrine, from which they 
tarianism, was the ^ijt/KjtMttltt ^^kf Trinity 


viewed as including that of Christ's essential god- 

(2.) Accordingly, Athanastus places a very im- 
portant phrase in studied opposition to the Greek 
verb which he introduces '. 

This phrase Dr. Priestley has translated to rest 
ia faith : and he evidently wishes to exhibit it, as 
importing, what he would deem a blind acgidescenee 
and servile prostration of the intellect to a matter 
required to be believed mthout any sufficient tes- 

But the phrase itself, which Athanasius has mi- 
nutely and verbally borrowed from Holy Writ, 
bears no such sense as that which Dr. Priestley 
would impose upon it *. Its import is : not to rest 
in faith, or implicitly to acquiesce in some matter 
which we are required to believe ; but to continue 
in the faith, or to persevere in the profession of 
sound Christianity *. 

Those, says Athanasius, who are impotent in 

' Gr. iiifiiytiv rg niirrti. 

' QapaKaXovyrit ififtivuv rp wimti. Act. xiv. ii. Eiyi km- 
fiytrt rp rlarti, rtfli/ieXiw^t'i'oi irai tcpaioi. Coloss, i. 23. 

* Athaniuiiia himself, in the immediately subsequent con- 
text, explaini his own meaning. 

'O /uy yap itfriiv Ta vtrip cauTov, iriiciySvyos' <i Si role 
rofaiofHiaiy iitfuruy, aKivivvof;. Athan. de Incar. Verb. Oper. 
?ol. L p. 461. 

Here, o H role TapaSoOclaiv iftfiitiiiy answers, and explains, 
i^fUytty rfi itivtei: as, in the next clause, riiV napaZoQCwnv 
wlwrw corresponds with roTc rapaloQiiaiy. 

26 THB APosTOLicmr [[book il 

knowledge, fall away^ unless they can be persuaded 


In thi^ clause, the opposition clearly lies^ be- 
tween the verb /a// awaify and the phrase continue 
in the faith ; and the antithesis is so employed by 
Athanasius, that, unless we wilfully close our eyes, 
it is quite impossible to mistake his necessary 

He would persuade the ignorant persons to con- 
tinue in the faith, which hitherto they had always 
professed. But, being easily perverted through 
their impotence in knowledge, they unhappily /a// 
away or apostatise. 

They originally held the catholic faith of the 
Trinity. But, from this their first faith, they 
subsequently fell away into the Samosatenian novelty 
of Antitrinitarianism. 

II. Dr. Priestley, however, from the language 
of Athanasius, is willing to believe, not merely 
that a few unstable individuals, but that the multi- 
tude collectively, were staunch Unipersonalists : 
and he inclines to think, that what he calls the 
complaint of the great Alexandrian exhibits a state 
of things very unfavourable to the orthodoxy of 
that age. 

If it so please him, let the historian of Early 
Opinions reckon up these Unipersonalists by thou- 
sands and by millions : still his theological arith- 
metic can never establish the fact which he has 
undertaken to establish.. 


The supposed swarms of Antitrinitanans will 
still be mere recent apostates /rom tkejfMh mMch 


No controversial alchemy can transmute them, 
what is obviously necessary for the establishment 
of Dr. Priestley's alleged fact, into an undevutino 
and UNBROKEN succession of perpetual impugnera 
of Christ's godhead, within the pale op the catho- 
lic CBUBCu, from the apostolic age itself dorm to 
the time of Atkanasius. 

The persons in question first held the faith of 
the Trinity : afterward, they fell away from it, 
being injured (as Athanasius testifies) by the inno- 
vating disciples of Paul of Samosata. 

Hence, even if we concede to Dr. Priestley the 
entire multitude in the days of Athanasius, I see 
not, how he will be any nearer to the establish- 
ment of his alleged fact : and as little do I see, 
bow the language of that Father exhibits a state 
of things very unfavourable to the cause of ab- 
stract orthodoxy. 

According to the necessary purport of the cita- 
tion, which Dr. Priestley, however imperfectly and 
inaccurately, has Himself made from the Works of 
Athanasius, he will only have gained a multitude 
of declared apostates to Samosatentic Antitrimta- 
riamtm from their original faith in tfte Holy Tri- 
mty : and this acquisition will leave, if I mistake 
Dot, the abstract truth of what is familiarly called 
Orthodoxy altogether unimpaired. 


III. That the present very obvious answer would 
be given to his pretended proof from Athanasius, 
Dr. Priestley seems to have been fully aware. 

Hence, in a subsequent part of his history, we 
are assured : that the antitrinitarian teachers of 
that period did not make men converts to their 
opinions ; but that, no doubt, they found them 
already staunch Unipersonalists ^ 

Clearly this is the very hinge, upon which the 
whole question turns : but then the degree of 
value, which we ought to attach to Dr. Priestley*s 
somewhat peremptory phrase no doubt, is best 
determined by the express testimony of Athanasius 

Now that Father, as we have seen, positively 
assures us : that The vulgar Samosatenians of his 
day were afostates from the faith which they had 
ONCE held. 

It is clear, therefore : that their new teachers 
did not FIND them Unipersonalists already (as Dr. 
Priestley, on authorities best known to himself, 
pronounces to have been no doubt the case) ; but 
that they made them so, by a recent perversion from 
their originally opposite tenets *. 

' Hist, of Early Opin. book Hi. chap. 16. sect. 1. Works, 
vol. vii. p. 12. 

^ Exactly the same remark equally applies to the opposition, 
encountered in Asia, by Basil and the two Gregories and Cyril 
of Jerusalem. 



IV. We may well, however, be permitted to 
doubt, whether the multitude in the days of 

On this opposition, as if it greatly tended to vindicate his own 
speculations, Dr. Priestley expatiates with much satisfaction. 

But, in truth, the sole pertinent question is : Who were the 
opponerUs of these ancient catholic Bishops ? Were their opponents 
ORIGINALLY AntitrinitarianSy by hereditary descent , who, with 
their antitrinitarian fathers before them, had always^ without any 
censurefjkmrished within the pale of the Universal and Aposto* 
lical Church ? Or did their opponents become Antitrinitarians 
hy an apostasy from their previous Trinitarianism ? 

In a passage, most infelicitously cited by Dr. Priestley him- 
self, Cyril affords the desired answer to this question. 

Ni;v ^c Itrrlv 'An02TA2IA- AIIE2TH2AN yap oi AyOpidToi 
TrJQ oftdfiQ t/otcwc* Ka2 oi fiev vlovaTopiay KarayyiXXoveriy' oi 
C£ Toy Xpitrroy c£ oirc oyrwy cic to elyai wapeyt^Biyra \lytiy 
ToXfiQffi. Cyril. Hieros. Catech. xv. p. 162. 

Now there is an apostasy : for men have apostatised 

from the right faith. Inasmuch as some maintain the 2^€rsonal 

identity of the Father and the Son : while others dare to say, 

that the Christ was called into existence from a state of noM- 


Whatever might be the number of these declared apostates 
from their own original faith in the Trinity, and however loud and 
fierce might have been their clamours : I see not, how their exist- 
ence can at all tend to establish Dr. Priestley's &vourite theory. 

For such a purpose, they and their fathers before them, 


SUCCESSION FROM THE APOSTOLIC AGE, ought demonstratively to 
have been unvarying and unchanging and strictly heredi- 
tary Antitrinitarians. Whereas Cyril expressly informs us : 
that they were mere recent apostates from the right faith ; 
which right faith, consequently, they must themselves have 
HELD previous to their declared and notorious apostasy. 



Athanastus can be conceded to Dr. Priestley ; 
little as such an acquisition^ under such circum- 
stances^ would benefit the cause which he has 

1. In his zeal for Humanitarianism, Dr. Priestley 
seems to have forgotten the historical impossibility, 
that the entire multitude^ or even a great majority 
of the multitude^ should at that time have pro- 
fessed the tenets advocated by Paul of Samosata. 

The prevalent aberration from the faith^ in the 
days of Athanasius^ was not that species of Anti- 
trinitarianism^ which Dr. Priestley fancies to be 
identical with primitive Christianity : but, on the 
contrary, as every student of ecclesiastical history 
well knows, it was the system of opinions advanced 
and propagated by Arius and his followers. 

If, then, with Dr. Priestley, we suppose tfie mul- 
titude to have been Samosatenian Antitrinitarians, 
it will be difficult to comprehend, how Arianism 
could have spread so very widely, as history testi- 
fies it to have spread. 

2. In truth, a little plain common sense may 
teach us : that, when Athanasius speaks of the 
injury accruing to the many from the blasphemous 

Had Asia even overflowed with religionists thus circum- 
stanced: the fact would have been no way beneficial to the 
cause advocated by Dr. Priestley. But, in truth, the testimony 
of Cyril is i)ositive1y hostile to his speculation : for the very 
\NriH.vaH of \P08TARY establishes, by plain necessity, the priority 
oS thv Faith whence the aposta^|^^ place. 




novelties of Paul and his disciples, he does not 
mean to say ; that Either the entire multitude, or 
even an immente minority of it, had apostatised,from ' 
their original faith, to the upstart speculations of 
the Samotatentan ; but that The poison was swal- 
lowed chicly by individuals of that particular class. 
Some of these, it seems, perplexed by the ab- 
stract subtleties of their new teachers and impo- 
tent in theological knowledge, apostatised to 
Aotitrinitarianism : and thus, as Athanasius speaks, 
refusing to avoid curious questions, they ceased to 
CONTINUE in the original faith once delivered to 
the saints. 



But, although Athanasius has proved only a 
treacherous ally to Dr. Priestley, it does not there- 
fore follow, that Origen, who flourished about a 
century earlier, may not render him somewhat 
better service. 

Accordingly, to the important alleged fact which 
the Historian of Early Opinions has undertaken 
to establish, the testimony of that Father is stre- 
nuously claimed, both by Dr. Priestley himself, 
and likewise by a yet more recent author who 
combats under the masquerading appellation of 
Another Barrister ^ 

I. The supposed testimony of Origen is found 
in no less than three several concurring passages, 
all of which present themselves in his Commentary 
upon the Gospel according to St. John. 

These passages I subjoin, translated with as 

* The Work of this author is entitled, Letters in defence of 
Unitarian ism by another Barrister, 


much accuracy as I can comniaod : for I venture 
to esteem my own version somewhat more exact, 
either than that of Dr. Priestley, or than that of 
the anonymous Barrister '. 

1. The first passage occurs in the first tome or 
section of the diligent Father's Commentary : and 
it consists of two parts, separated from each other 
by the intervention of certain matter which will 
hereafter be noticed. 

And this it was jit to know, that, as the Law 
fiords a shadow of good things to come, made mani^ 
Jest by the Law which is preached according to the 
truth : so Ukewise the Gospel, which is t/iought to be 
understood by all those who address themselves to it, 
teaches a shadow of the Mysteries of Christ. But, 
what John calls the everlasting gospel, «r what 
might fitly be styled the spiritual gospel, clearly 
sets forth, to those who understand it, all things, 
even before their very faces, concerning the Son of 

Wherefore it is necessary to christianise, both 
spiritually and corporeally. And, where indeed it is 
Jit to preach tlie corporeal Gospel, saying to the 
carnal that We know nothing save Jesus Christ and 
him eruci/ied: this must be done by us. But, when 

* As I carefully give, in tfae maigin, the original Greek of 
all the three passages, according to the plan uniformly followed 
diroagliout the present Work, every lettered reader, without 
ny further trouble to himBelf, will be able to pronounce upon 
Ae accuracy of my translation. 



they shall be found Jirmly compacted in the Spirit 
and bringing forth fruit in it : then, as loving the 
heavenly zvisdom, we may impart to them of the 
Word ascending up again, from having been incar^ 
nate, to the state in which he was with God in the 
beginning \ 

2. The second passage occurs in the second 
tome of the same Commentary. 

Thus some, indeed, partake of tlie Word which 
was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God : as Hosea, and Isaiah, and 
Jeremiah, or if any other person has set himself forth 
to be such, as the Word of the Lord, or that the 
Word came to him. But others, who know nothing 
save Jesus Christ and him crucified, even the Word 
that was made flesh, thinking that this is t/ie whole 

' Rac Tovro ^e ei^ivat exP^^* *"'*» ^^^^P ^^ vcJftoc tTKiav wap^ 
ix^v r&v ftcXXoKTwv dyadwvj inro row Kar dXifduay learayycX- 
Xofiivov yofiov ^i^Xov/ickuik, ovtw icai evayyiXioy trKiav fivartipit^y 
XpiOTOv hBdaniif TO vofii^oyLivov VTO irdrTtoty rwy tyTvy\av6y' 
ritty yoeltrOai, ^O ^c ifmmy ^IfttdyyriQ ehayyiXioy aiwyioy, ocatcimc 
hy XtyQriaoyLiyoy iryivfiaTtKby, (ra^cDc Trapltmitri rdiQ yoovai ra 
Tuyra kyinrioy xcpi atrrov row Yiow row Bcov. — 

Acc^ep dvayKoioy irytvfiaTucAi Kal trtifiariKHQ xP^^T'caW^eci'' 
Koi, 6irov fiiy xp4 ^^ truftariKoy Kiipvaativ thayyiktoy, ^ctkovto, 
fifl^iy elyai (lege d^iyai), toIq trapKUoi^, $ 'Ii|ffovv Xptaroy Kal 
Tovroy iaravpttfuyoy, rovro iroitirioy iirav 5c evped&tri Kanfpritr' 
fiiyoi Tip UytvfjLari icdi Kapwo^opovyre^ iy avr^, kp&yriQ re r^c 
ovpavlov tro^ag, fitra^orioy ahrdiQ tov Aoyov iwayeXdoyrogf (£xo 
Tov aetrapKAffSait iff h }v cv dp^^ wpo^ Toy Bc<$v. Orig. Com- 
ment, in Johan. torn. i. Oper. vol. ii. p. 9. Rothomag. 1 668. 


'. of the Word, know Christ only according to the 

\ ^sh. Now thit is the multitude of those, who are 

\ commonly reckoned to beUeve '. 
' 1 3. The third passage likewise occurs in the 

f secood tome of the Commentary. 

The ntultitudes of those, who are commonly reck- 
oned to believe, are instructed in the shadow of the 
Word, and not in the true Word who is in the 

* opened heaven '. 
II. These three passages have been professedly 

'^ adduced by Dr. Priestley, and from him have been 

* implicitly copied by the anonymous Barrister, for 
the avowed purpose of gaining the testimony of 
antiquity to the once almost universal prevalence 
of their own favourite scheme of doctrine within 
the pale of the Catholic Church. 

According to Dr. Priestley, they afford direct 
evidence : that 7%« gentile Christians were gene- 

' OvTut Toiyvy oi ftiy Tivit ^crc^^ouo'if airov tov iv ('pxp 
Aijm, Koi icpot roy Odr A6yov, col OeoS Aiymi, &mtfp 'Ooi}! 
ml Hffotoc ml 'Itpifiias Koi (( ric tnpot roiourot- iavrof itapia- 
Tjfmv, iit Toy AtSyof Ktipiov, Q Toy Aoyoy yiyioBai vpoc oSttov' 
inpM a 01 /ii}S(>' (iluTie tl fiil 'Ijiaovy Xptarov coi rovroy iorav- 
pttftifoy, riv ytydfuroy crapca A6yoy, to irdy vofUaayTct tlyai 
rnS A6ymi, Xfuvrof Kara ffdpKA fx6vor yiyiioxovec Toiovroy it 
im TO 'wXifiot rSy ntwt^nvKiyai yofuiofiiytty. Orig. CommeDt. 
in Joban. torn. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 49. 

' T<j ii rX^Oi) Tuy irtwm-tVKiyai yofitCoftivmy, rp mif rov 
A^TOW, Eol o{>x) rfi dXtfiiyf A6y^ Qiov iy ry dyt^yori oi^yf 
TVfx/iyoyn, luiff^iitrai. Oiig. Comment, in Johan. torn. ii. 
Oper. vol. ii. p. 52. 



rally Unitarians ^ who rejected with abhorrence the 
doctrine of our Lord's divinity '. 

According to the anonymous Barrister, They 
manifest the very same state of things or one highly 
similar to it, as existing alike in the days of Origen 
and in tfie days of Tertullian ; Origen, though partly 
contemporary mth Tertullian, having lived through 
some years later : and their special utility is this ; 
that They take away all doubt as to the meaning 
both of the language of Origen and of the langU4ige 
of Tertullian, clearly establishing what was the beUef 
of the multitude in the Christian World at the times 
when they respectively composed the Works in which 
these several passages occur *. 

The testimony of Origen, in short, is alleged by 
Dr, Priestley and the Barrister, as fully establish- 
ing the important fact : that. At the time when 
Origen flourished or about the middle of the third 
century, the great majority of Christians, within 


strenuous Antitrinitarians ; who, while the philoso- 
phising and semipaganising Fathers were diligently 
engaged in tlie unholy labour of its corrupt intro- 
duction, steadily rejected with honest abhorrence the 
novel doctrine of our Lord's divinity '. 

* HisU of Early Opin. book iii. chap. 1 d. sect. 2. Works, 
vol. vi. p. 488. 
' Letters by another Barristeri p. 276, t77. 
' It might seem, tUlHHHllk^ own opinion was in very 


III. In themselves, torn away from their context 
and exhibited (as Dr. Priestley and the Banister 

tolerable keeping with his teatimony. At least, bo we are 
mfbrmed by those, who profess to have studied the subject. 

Dr. Prieatley and Mr. Lindaey and the anonymous Barrister 
have adduced Origen, as tpeaking mfavourably of the proper 
dioimty of Ckritt. 

Their alleged ground for this adduction is : that he pro- 
nounces tbe Father to be alone The Stlf-exittent Being or to 
be alone God abtolutely ; while he considers Christ, as being 
limply j1 tub&rdinate God or A God merely by the appointmeTit 
oj the Svpreme God and Father. Priestley's Hist, of Early 
Opin. book ii. chap. 4. Works, vol. vi. p. 253, 254, Lindsey's 
Sequel to Apol. p. 198, 199. Letters by another Barrister, 
p. 19. 80. 

I. These writers, I fear, must be charged, either with a total 
misapprehension, or with a deliberate perversion, of the learned 

I. Through the medium of a criticism on the use of the 
Greek Article, Origen sUtes : that the title of O eEOZ, or of 
God with tbe Article prefixed to the name, is the most fitly 
^plied to tbe Father ; because, in the economy of the Godhead, 
tbe Father alone is AvroOioc or God of himself: while the title 
of OEOZ mmply, or of Gon without the Article prefixed to the 
Btme, is more properly applied to the Son ; because the Son is 
not God of hmtelf, but Gtd of the nbitance of the Father. 

Even dd^ated rulers, (e goes on to argue, may be cata- 
direttically called godt, as they sometimes actually are so called 
B Scripture, merely as a sort of earthly images or representa- 
tipos of the Moat High. 

But tbe Word, tliough not Atrofltoc or God of himielf, is, by 
fiEatioa from the substance of the Father, God properly and 
euentiaUy, the archetypal image of many images, God eternally 
; with God in never ceasing contemplation of the 


exhibit them) in a perfectly insulated state, the 
passages, cited from Origen, are dark and obscure : 

paternal profundity. Orig. Comraent. in Johan. torn. ii. Oper. 
vol. ii. p. 45—47. 

2. Whatever may be thought of Origen's criticisni on the use 
of the Article, he assuredly builds upon it no doctrine save that 
which the Church Catholic has in all ages maintained : the 
doctrine, namely ; that The Father alone is God of himulf; 
while the Son and the Spirit are eternal emanations from the 
primordial Fountain of Deity ^ each alike being God, not merely 
' by delegation, but strictly and properly and essentially, inas* 
much as each is alike consubstantial with the Father. See below, 
book ii. chap. 9, 10. 

Hence I perceive not, how the criticism of Origen, as avow- 
edly employed by himself, can at all benefit the cause of 
modem Antitrinitarianism. Let its abstract merits be what 
they may, he builds upon it, not the speculation wherewithal 
our three writers would saddle him, but simply the doctrine 
which the Catholic Church has invariably held and has invari- 
ably handed down from the very beginning. 

II. I subjoin Origen's distinct assertion, both of The preexist' 
ence of the Word, and of The eternal existence of the Word, 

npoc Tov Qtov oh riNETAI (6 \6yoQ), «c vporepov oi/K Ay 
irpoQ ahT6v' irapa ^c to AEI 2YNEINAI r^ Ilarp^, Xiyerai, Ka^ 
6 Aoyoc HN vpoQ rov Qtdy. Oh ydp EFENETO icpoQ roy 
Oioy* k'ai ravTov ^iy/xa, to HN, rov A6yov Kanjyopeirai, Sn iy 
dp^ HN Kai ore xpoc roy Gcov HN, ovre rrjg dp^fJQ \iapi(6fjLe» 
yoi, ovT€ TOV Uarpog diroXeiKOfuyog, Kal, iraXiv, ovre ctTO rov 
MH EINAI iy dpyj, riNOMENOS ky dpy§' ovrt, dwo rov MH 
TVrXANEIN irpoc rov OEoy, IkI rf wpog roy Oeoy eJyai TINO- 
MENOS* irpo yap Travroc xpovov ical aiCtyoQ, ey dpXQ HN 6 
Aoyoc '^'ac 6 Ac^yoc HN irpoc roy Gc<$k. Orig. Comment, in 
«lohan. torn. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 45. 

Through the nifii^'4||£* masterly criticism on the import of 


nor can their obscurity be dispelled, unless we 
advert, partly to the usages of the Church as they 
stood in the age of that Father, partly to the con- 
text and thence evident drift of the passages them- 
selves, and partly to the distinct and unambiguous 
testimony even of this very Origen as to what 
was realb/ in his time the universal faith of the 
Church CathoUc. 

Unfortunately, so obvious a mode of elucidation 
seems never to have occurred either to Dr. Priest- 
ley or to the Barrister. 

ibe two words Ei/il and TiVo/iai, it is here distinctly uterted 
of the Son: both that He it wtcreated, aai th^t He hadetemaUif 
before all time coexUted milk the Father. 

That the enquirer may form a just estimate either of the 
historical competency or of the theological good faith of Dr. 
Mestley and Mr. Lindsey and the anonymous Barrister, I think 
it r^ht to state: that this assertion of Origen is taken out of 
the identical collective passage, whence those three writers have 
learned ; that, in the judgment of that Father, Chritt i* itot God 
properli/ and eitentially, but that He it only a creature itmetted 
with the character of an official god by the appmntment of the 
Supreme God. 

If, when, on the strength of the immediate conte:it, our 
diree writers described Origen as tpeaking unfavottrably of the 
pnper dhimty of Chritt, they had nCTw read this decisive pas- 
sage: the prudent inquirer will know how tn value, their his- 
torical carefulness, and thence their historical competency. 

If, on the contrary, when giving such an account of Origen's 
, they actually had read tins decisive passage : the 
mt inquirer will equally know how to value their tbea- 
il good faith and honesty. 


With a perfect disregard both of context and of 
circumstances^ dipping into the Work of Origen 
instead of diligently reading it, these two super- 
ficial writers have hastily pitched upon certain 
passages, which, through a complete misapprehen- 
sion of their import, they have unskilfully deemed 
favourable to the cause of modern Humanitarian- 
ism : and the disgraceful consequence has been a 
blunder, extraordinary alike in its character and 
in its dimensions. 

The collective multitude of christian cate- 

on the one hand, mistaken for a noble army of 


lord's divinity : while, on the other hand, those 

SIASTICAL MYSTERIES, they have each pronounced 


1. I have alreadi^HlfeMMy of historical testi- 


mony, had occasion to notice at some length a 
very remarkable and a very ancient institution of 
the Christian Church, which was in full vigour 
daring the times of Origen and TertulUan, and 
which bore among the faithful the name of thk 


The title of this institution by no means im- 
ported, that certain doctrines were confided only 
to a 'few master-minds, while from the bulk of 
vulgar believers they were carefully concealed : 
OD the contrary, its principle was merely the very 
simple and the very rational principle of gradual 

While in training under the care of the episco- 
pally appointed Catechist, the Catechumens were, 
for a considerable time, admitted into little beyond 
the generalities of sincere religion. During this 
preparatory stage, the rabble of pagan deities was 
made to give place to the one Almighty Cause of 
all things : a future state of rewards and punish- 
ments, according to the conduct of men during 
their day of probation in this world, was declared 
and enforced on the authority of a divine revela- 
tion : and Christ was exhibited to them, as the 
great appointed teacher of righteousness and as the 
holy prophet of the new and better covenant. 

But, when the Catechumens were judged to 
have become sufficiently perfect in these prelimi- 
nary matters, when their godly sincerity had been 
fiifly evinced by the correct sanctity of their 


demeanour^ and when they were found to love 
the heavenly wisdom and to desire yet further 
communications of it in order to their complete 
admission into the Church by the initiatory rite of 
Baptism : then, with the season of Lent, com- 
menced another series of catechetical lectures, 
which, in the course of forty days, imparted to 
them what were deemed the secrets of the Christ- 
ian Mysteries. 

First and foremost of these secrets, itself so 
preeminently the grand secret as to be sometimes 
by writers on the subject even exclusively particu- 
larised, stood the doctrine of the Holy Trinity : 
and with it was inseparably connected, as imme- 
diately emanating from it and as specially de- 
pendent upon it, the doctrine of Christ's incarnate 
godhead. From the palmary secret of the Trinity 
branched out the entire system of evangelical 
peculiarities, each of which was counted a subor- 
dinate and dependent secret of the Mysteries : 
and the whole conjointly formed the subject of 
those instructions, which were at length communi- 
cated to the more advanced Catechumens who 
were about to be illuminated or baptised. 

In short, as the first series of lectures treated 
only of the generalities of the Christian Dispensa- 
tion : so the second series of lectures professed to 
set forth its peculiarities, under the technical aspect 
of an initiation into the Mysteries. 

The adoption of such a plan produced the neces- 


sary result, that the great multitude of the junior 
Catechumens were ignorant of the doctrines of the 
Trinity and Christ's godhead, except so far as they 
might accidentally have caught some glimpses of 
their existence : while, to every individual who 
had been fully instructed and who had been sub- 
sequently baptised, these doctrines were of course 
perfectly fanuliar. 

Hence, according to their progress in theologi- 
cal knowledge, the collective body of believers 
was divided Into two classes : ■ the class of Those 
who were at yet instructed only in the shadow of the 
Word, as Origen speaks ; and the class of Those 
who had been made acquainted with the true Word 
in the opened heaven. 

2. To this usage of the Catholic Church, the 
passages from Origan, which have been so dis- 
gracefully misunderstood by the Historian and 
the Barrister, most undoubtedly refer. 

Any person, indeed, who merely reads them 
with the then existing usage of the Catholic 
Church in his mind, will immediately perceive the 
allusion. But the matter is put out of all possible 
dispute by the entire tenor of their context : a 
circumstance, which Dr. Priestley and his follower 
most themtelvet have perceived, had they taken 
the very ordinary trouble of perusing that context 
in connection with the familiar usage of the Church 
in the second and third centuries. 

(1.) Of the three parallel passages which have 


been cited from Origen, the first and earliest, as 
might naturally be expected, furnishes a key to 
the whole. For, when we examine its immediate 
context, we shall clearly perceive : that that Fa- 
ther, speaking in his character of a Catechist, 
merely sets forth the comparative ignorance of 
those numerous Catechumens, who as yet had not 
been instructed in the doctrines of the Trinity 
and the Incarnation ; such doctrines, as we have 
already seen, being communicated to Christian 
Aspirants only during the forty days which im- 
mediately preceded their baptismal initiation. . 

Almost at the commencement of his Commen- 
tary on the Gospel according to St. John, having 
stated how he had wholly devoted himself to the 
service of God, and having intimated that the 
Gospel at large was the very cream of the whole 
inspired volume, Origen mentions his residence at 
Alexandria, where he long presided in the import- 
ant office of a Catechist \ Here, what could I do 
better, he asks, than dedicate the cream of my life 
to what may well be called the cream of Scripture* 9 

^ In his office of Catechist at Alexandria, Origen succeeded 
his master Clement, as Clement had succeeded his own master 
Pantemis : and Pantenus himself was the first Catechist there 
after the Apostles. Origen was appointed to the office by 
Demetrius of Alexandria. Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib* vi. c. 2, 
3, 6, 8. 

' Comment, in Johan. tom. i. Oper. vol. ii. p. 3, 4. I have 
used the English word cream in its proverbial sense, as best 
expressing the idea of Origen's dwapx^h 


He then expatiates at some length upon the 
idea, which he had started. 

And he finally winds up the whole by saying : 
that. At the Gospel in general was the cream of all 
the Seripturet, so the Gospel of John in particular 
mas the cream of all the other Gospels ; for John, 
who wrote the last and the mostperfectly, set forth 
the divinity of his Lord more clearly and more 
distinctly than any one of his three predecessors *. 

After these preliminaries, adopting the then 
fiishionable phraseology of the Mysteries, he re- 
marks : that Every one, mho had been initiated. 
Uses no longer himself, but Christ lives in htm ', 
And he adds, in allusion to the sacred speech of 
the hierophant: that The Gospel is an oration, 
wittch propounds to the Catechumen matters exhil- 
aratmg on accoimt of their prqfitahleness *. 

Having thus characteristically introduced the 
topic of catechumenical instruction, he soon pro- 
ceeds to treat more largely of its principles. 

Even to many of those, he observes, who flou- 
rished b^ore the advent of Christ, and who &om 

' Comment, in Johan. p. 4 — 6. 

* Comment, m Johan. p. 6. Gr. irac i nrtXtrnfiirot, The 
word riTtXtiufiiyvc is technically allusive to the TtXij or Mys- 
teries. Bvery Epopt was styled perfect. 

' Comment, in Johan. p. 6. Gr. t6v dmimyTa. The phrase 
araiMiv was the technical appellation of a Catechumen. Au' 
iknUt et Auditores, says Rhenanus on Tertullian, ea atat vo- 
eabat Cattckumenoi. Tertull. de |Henit. Oper. p. 481. For 
this remark, he cites the authority of Cyprian. 


being babes had been rendered more perfect by 
initiation \ such as the Patriarchs and Moses and 
the Prophets, the coming of the Saviour was by 
no means unknown : though the less instructed 
were wont to entertain but obscure notions re* 
specting it And, in a similar manner, even after 
his corporeal manifestation upon earth, certain 
discourses, which may properly be termed peda- 
gogical and which are a sort of precursors of 
Christ, are still fitly delivered to babes in know* 
ledge : since, as yet, they are under preceptors, 
and have not hitherto arrived at the fulness of the 
time of their initiation. To these persons, who 
have not been initiated into the higher Mysteries 
of the Gospel, the Son, who is the glorified God 
the Word, hath not as yet been declared. For 
he expects, that a requisite preparation should be 
undergone by those, who are about to be intro- 
duced to the recondite doctrine of his divinity *. 

And this it was Jit to know (we are now, after 
passing through the antecedent context, arrived 
at ^ihejirsi part of the earliest of the three passages 
cited by Dr. Priestley and the Barrister) : This it 
wa^jit to know, that, as the Law affords a shadow 
of good thirds to come, made manifest by the Law 
which is preached according to the truth : so likewise 
the Gospel, which is thought to be understood by 

* Comment, in Jolian. p. 8. Gr. roic reXeioripoiQ, a technical 
expression of the Mysteries. 
' Comment, in Johan. p. 8, 9. 


all those who address tJiemselves^ to it, teaches a 
shadow of the Mysteries of Christ. But, what John 

calls THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL, OT whttt might fitly 

be styled the spiritual gospel, clearly sets forth, to 
those who understand it, all things, even before their 
very faces, concerning the Son of God \ 

After this statement of the erroneousness of the 
opinion ; that all those who addressed themselves 
to the study of the Gospel, or (in other words) all 
the hitherto uninitiated Catechumens, really un- 
derstood its fiill import, until, by further institu- 
tion, they had been introduced to the knowledge 
of the spiritual doctrine : after tliis allusion to the 
ignorance in which the Catechumens were syste- 
matically kept until the forty days of Lent which 
immediately preceded their baptism, a few unim- 
portant words occur, which are followed by an 
hiatus. But, fortunately, from the circumstance 
of the fragment, and baptism, appearing where the 
text again proceeds in a perfect s|;ate, we have a 
very satis&ctory clue afforded us, as to the subject 
discussed by the learned Catechist in the inter- 
mediate lost sentence or sentences '. These two 
broken words, and baptism, the conclusion of the 
lost clause or paragraph, shew plainly enough : 
that, in the course of that lost clause or paragraph, 

* Comment, in Johan. p. 9. 

* Tmtqcc U dK6XovQ6v kariv U\afi(idy£iy, 6tl, or rp^woy 
•••••• ««M ^m-tfffia, UavXog fiiv fc-al Tlirpoc k, t, X. 

Comaumtm in Johui. p. 9. 


Origen had been treating of the final instruction 
given to Catechumens during the forty days which 
immediately preceded their baptism ; instructions^ 
which respected the hitherto concealed Mystery 
of the Godhead of Christ and of the Holy Trinity 
with the various doctrines dependent upon it. 

The gap is followed by some remarks upon the 
conduct of St. Paul : who^ to the Jews^ became a 
Jew, in order that he might gain the Jews. And 
then Origen states : that the person, who lays 
himself out for the profit of many (meaning, doubt- 
less, himself y in his quality of a Catechist), cannot 
improve and advance, to better and higher truths, 
those individuals, who still continue to be instructed 
in nothing more than the elements of exoteric 
Christianity '. 

Wherefore it is necessary (we are now arrived at 
the second part of the earliest of the three passages 
cited by Dr. Priestley and the Barrister) : Where-- 
fore it is necessary to christianise, both spiritually 
and corporeally. And, where indeed it is fit to 
preach the corporeal Gospel, saying to the carnal 
tliat We know nothing save Jestis Christ and him 
crucified : this must be done by us. But, when they 
shall be found firmly compacted in the Spirit and 
bringing forth fruit in it : then, as loving the hea-^ 
venly wisdom, we may impart to them of the Word 
ascending up again, from fiaving been incarnate, to 

^ Comment, in Johan. p. 9. 


the Hate in which he wets with Cfod in the heginr 

I have now faithfully exhibited the context of 
the earliest of the three cited passages^ together 
RFith the passage itself in each of its two separated 
[Hirts : and, from this exhibition, the purport of 
the passage is, I think, most abundantly manifest. 

By iho9e multitudes of believers, who are described 
%s instructed, only in the shadow of the Word, and 
wt in the true celestial Word, Origen means : not 


KiTT, as Dr. Priestley and the Barrister most idly 
uid most ignorantly fancy ; but simply those 
injiiEROus catechumens, who had not as yet been 


(2.) Such is the result from a full examination 
of the context of the first of the three cited pas- 
sages. Equally explicit and decisive is the joint 
context of the evidently paraUel second and third 
cited passages, which, in point of collocation, stand 
at no very great distance from each other. 

Thm some, indeed, says Origen in the second of 
the three cited passages, partake of the Word which 
vfas in the beginning, and the Word was with God 

^ Comment, in Johan. p. 9. 
VOL, n. E 


and the Ward was God: as Hosefl, and Isaiah, 
and Jeremiah, or if any other person has set himsetf 
forth to be such, as the Word of the Lord, or that 
the Word came to him. But others, who know 
nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified, even the 
Word that was made flesh, thinking that this is the 
whole of the Word, know Christ only according to 
the flesh. Now this is the multitude of those, who 
are commonly reckoned to believe ^ 

In this passage^ Origen explains the frequent 
hebrew phrase of the Word of the Lord coming to 
any one of the ancient prophets, as referring to the 
personal Word or the second hypostasis of the 
Trinity : who, by thus coining to his servants, en- 
abled them severally to become, in respect to their 
delegated office of God's messengers, such, cha- 
racteristically, as the Word of the Lord himself* 
And he then intimates : that the multitude of 
Catechumens, not having as yet been instructed 
in the recondite doctrine that The Word was in 
the beginning with God and that The Word was 
God, thence, of plain necessity, knew Christ only 
according to the flesh or in his human nature and 

Having thus penned the second cited passage, 
the true import of which, like that of the first cited 
passage, has been so lamentably misunderstood by 
Dr. Priestley and the Barrister, Origen forthwith 

' Comment, in Johan. tom. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 49. 


proceeds, in the very language of the imitative ec- 
clesiastical Mysteries^ to mark out a difference^ 
between the propane or the uninitiated Catechu- 
mens on the one hand, and the just or the bajh 
Hsmalfy initiated Communicants on the other hand. 
To theformfir, heaven is shut ; as the doors of the 
adytum were closed against the profane : to the 
latter, it is open ; and there they may behold the 
self-conspicuous apparition of the. divine Word 
riding in his majesty, as described by the prophet 
of th^ Apocalypse ^ 

Then comes the third of the three passages^ 
adduced by Dr. Priestley and the Barrister. 

The midtitudes of those, who are commonly reck- 
oned to believe, are instructed in the shadow of the 
Word, and not in the true Word who is in the opened 

Of this passage, the import is obviously the 
same, as that of its predecessor. The nmnerous 
Catechumens^ who are as yet only in a gradual 
course of religious institution, have hitherto learned 
nothing, save the general exoteric doctrines of 
Christianity, or what Origen technically styles the 
shadow of the Word: for, the term of their forty 
probaptismal days not having arrived, they have 
thence not been instructed, in what Origen calls 
the true Word who is in the opened heaven, or in the 

' The aW&irroy &ya\fia of the imitative and adaptative 
Christian Mysteries. 

' Comment, in Johan. tom. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 5^. 

E 2 


esoteric doctrines of Christ's godhead and the 
Holy Trinity. 

Next fdllows a florid description of the apo- 
calyptic rider on the white horse : whofie name is 
the Word of Grod, whose title no one save himself 
fully comprehends^ and whose regal i^ppellation i^ 
King of kings and Lord of lords. And, immediately 
after it^ we encounter a passage which cannot be 
misunderstood : for it actually describes the know- 
ledge of those more advanced believers^ who have 
at length been baptised^ and who have thus been 
formally initiated into the Christian Mysteries. 

This Word of God, says the great Alexandrian 
Catechist, all the armies, which aire in heaven^ fol- 
low ; acknowledging him as their leader, and in every 
thing, more especially in their similarly riding upon 
white horses, imitating him :for all things are placed 
before those who understand. And, as grief and 
sorrow and groaning flee cmay at the general conr 
summation: thus likewise, I deem, obscurity and 
doubt flee away, when all the mysteries op ood*s 
wisdom are carefully and unreservedly devb^ 
loped \ 

No doubts I think, can now be entertained in 
regard to the true meaning of the three parallel 
passages, which, by Dr. Priestley and the Barris- 
ter, have been so unhappily misunderstood and so 

* For the entire context here discussed, see Comment, in 
Johan. torn. ii« Oper. vol. ii. p. 5\ — 54. 


wretchedly misapplied. Throughout the whole, 
indeed, of Origen's Commentary, which clearly 
has never been perused either by the Historian or 
by the Barrister, there are even perpetual re- 
ferences to this peculiar system of ecclesiastical 
discipline, which existed as a fact, whatever may 
be thought of its inhereiU merits '. For a long 
season, the multitude of Catechumens were in- 

* See Comment, in Johan. Oper. vol. ii. pp- 18 B, 25 E, 
30 BC, 75 A, 97 A, 125 E, 126 ABCD, 203 AB. 

Origen seems occaaionally to have had under hia charge 
Calecbumeos, who rejected, when ofiered to them, the higher 
Hyiteriei of Christianity : for he speaks of the better things 
^laag closed to such persons, not from any unwillingnesa on 
ibe part of their appointed instructors, but because they them- 
adres were unwilling to receive them. See Comment, in 
](jisD. torn. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 51 E. 

This statement exactly accords with ecclesiastical history: 
nor, without it, should we be able to account for the various 
hRnie* touching the nature of Christ and the mode of the 
Deit/s existence, which, in despite of the caref\il catechetical 
instruction of the first ages, from time to time produced those fre- 
quent lamentable separations from the fdthful Church Catholic. 
Presumptuous speculatists either refused to receive the peculiar 
doctrines of the Gospel, which were regularly communicated to 
Ak CompeteniM in the course of the forty days previous to 
iheir b^tism : or, at some subsequent period, they rejected 
them, after they had been received. 

Snch a rejection, as in the case of Paul of Samosata, was 
■tyled an a}^TtUum of, or an exsiVtency from, the Mystery. 
Tor iippyjiadiuyov to fxvarripiav, to! t^irofiireuoiTa rj fuap^ at- 
fint ry 'AprtftS, Episl. Episc. Antioch. Concil- apud Euseb. 
Hist. Ecdes. lib. vii. c. 30. 


structed only in the generalities of theology : nor 
were they admitted to the knowledge of the ab- 
struse doctrines of Christ's godhead and the Trinity, 
until the arrival of the forty days of Lent which 
immediately preceded their Baptism. 

3. Dr. Priestley, however, and the Barrister 
after him, are quite sure, that Origen, in the three 
passages before us, must be viewed, as giving direct 
evidence in favour of the gentile Christians being, 
at the time when he flourished, generally Antitri- 

For the final settlement, then, of the present 
matter, let us hear the direct and unequivocal 
testimony, to the universal belief of the Church 
that Christ is one God vnth the Father^ borne by 
Origen in certain other parts of his Works. 

We worship, says he, speaking plurally on be- 
half of the Catholic Church in a Treatise profess* 
edly controversial: We worship one god, the 
FATHER AND THE SON : and this confession remains 
firmly with us against all others. For, not merely as 
a person who had recently appeared having had no 
previous existence, do we worship the Son : but, on 
the contrary, we believe his own declaration ; Before 
Abraham was, I am. — We worship, therefore, the 
Father of the Truth, and the Son who is the Truth ; 
two in personality, one in concord and symphony and 
identity of mil. — For we venerate, mth supplications 
and merited prayers, one god and his one son and 
WORD AND IMAGE^ t^lKti/tii/§j^Mr ability : offering 


tip our petitiotu utUo the God of all things, throiigh 
his onty-begotten Son \ 

Joaepkut, Bays he again in anotber place of the 
same controversial Treatise, u wUUng to oMtibe 
the dettructum of Jeruialem by the Romans to the 
vengeance of God on account of the murder of Jimea 
the Just. But may we not more reasonably say, 
that it happened on acc<mnt of Jesus the Christ : to 
WHOSE DIVINITY, SO many Churc/tes of those, who 
have been reclaimed from the puddle of wickedness 
and who hang upon htm as their creator and 
who refer all things to bis good pleasure, bear tnt- 

' 'Era oiv 0€&y, it dimitiitKa^ii', roy HaWpo Koi roe Yiov, 
tifdgaioiuv' Kol fiiyti iffiiy o wpoc roig ^XXovc (freeze Xiyof 
ml ot riy Ivayxoe yt fayiyra, it rpirepoy <At oyra, tnrcpOptia- 
Kiiofur' tArf yap TrtlB6iu6a ry dw6yTi, Tlply 'Afipaafi ytvia- 
8<B, Iji (i/u. — Opqffcfvo/Mi' (ric, Toy Haripa rflc dKifdilae, col 
T^ Tiif r^y dX^Otiay, 6yra Svo rj vroartiott Trpdy/iara, tv H 
Tf ifioyolf ml rp avft^yiq Kal r^ ravr^nrri rov /SoiiX^/Miroc- — 
Tir tya Oeoy, koI roe tyai Yloy abrou Kai Aoyoy Kai EUiva, raXc 
atrh TO ivyaroy ft/ii*' ixtalait tal d^iiiatai ai^fiey, itpoadyoy- 
nt ry ^'1* ^^' "^>' "■£ (^<i£ ^^^ "^ fiovoytyou^ ahrtn, Oiig, 
o»L Cek. lib. viii. p. 986. 

' 'O ^\ cai 6mrip Sxuy oil fiaxpiiy rqc <&>)6tlac ycyifxevot, 
ffri roim wpfiiliiixiyat rote 'lovSaiois an' ixllioioiy 'laUi^oti 
m iuaUm, &c Jv dStX^ot 'l>iaow rou Xtyo/tiyov Xpiirrov, ctm- 
a^np iucat6Taroy airroy oyra dicimtyav. — Eiircp my iia 'Ioeh- 
^ ow/i^fiiltivai Xeyet role 'lovlaioit rit Kara T^y ip^fiamy tjk 
'ttpmwoMf'i '^ "hc^ (tiXoyiiTtpov Sta 'Ir/aovy rov Xpiaroy rovro 
fJwniy ytyoyiyat, ov r^j OttiniTOt fidprtiptc >t nxRzvrai ruy 
ftivfimii^yrmy duo r^s yjnitis rvy Katay UxXiiniu, ml i^prq- 


From three ill-understood passages of Origen, 
Dr. Priestley and the Barrister fancy themselves 
to have learned^ on the direct testimony of that 
Father : that, in his days, the great bulk of Christ- 
ians were zealous Unipersonalists who held the 
doctrine of Christ's godhead in absolute ab- 

Yet, we see, Origen himself, even in a public 
controversial Treatise, expressly and openly de- 
clares: that the entire Catholic Church adored 
conjointly the Father and the Son, under the pre- 
cise aspect of their being one God; that the 
various provincial Churches, which collectively 
formed the single Church Catholic, bore witness 
to the divinity of Christ their acknowledged Crea- 
tor ; and that, in strict accordance with this system 
of doctrine, all Christians devoutly believed the 
preexistence of their Lord, on the specific ground, 
according as they understood it, of his own positive 

It is difficult to believe, that Origen could have 
hazarded a public controversial statement of this 
nature and description, if he had elsewhere freely 
confessed (which Dr. Priestley and the Barrister 
assure us is the case) ; that the multitude of Catho- 
lics, both were in his days, and always had been 

fxivwy rov i^/iiovf>yov, xal rtHvT dya<l>ep6mov £7ri Hjv Kp6c cicci- 
yov npiffKEiay. Orig. cont. Cels. lib. i. p. S5, 36. 

For Dr. Priestley'sJUganit of Origen, in regard to the 
adoration of the SflJ^^^HlK Append, it. numb. 3. $ ii. 


before his days, strenuous antitrinitarian opponents 
of the deity of Christ : it is difficult to believe, 
when a mere naked matter of fact is concerned, 
and that moreover a fact of the greatest possible 
notoriety ; that, with needless and foolish gratuit- 
ousness, be would be in two directly opposite 
stories : it is difficult to believe, in short ; that he 
^ves any direct evidence in favour of the gentile 
Christians being generally, at the time when he 
flourished, what the historian calls Unitarians. 

Any person, who had even read nothing more 
of ^e Works of Origen than his Treatise against 
Celsus, would immediately conclude : that, on the 
part of Dr. Priestley and the Barrister, there must 
have been either some strange misapprehension 
or some dishonest perversion. And, accordingly, 
the simple truth of the matter is : that the his- 
torian and his incautious follower have each. 
agreeably to my preceding statement, mistaken 




Origen, we see, promotes the cause of Dr. Priest- 
ley, even still less, if that be possible, than Athana- 
sius. But we must not relinquish the historian's 
express testimony as altogether hopeless, until we 
shall have carefully examined the yet remaining 
evidence of Tertullian. 

This Father flourished, at the end of the second, 
and at the beginning of the third, century. Hence, 
if we find him bearing witness to the ancient and 
general and unbroken prevalence of simple Huma- 
nitarianism within the pale of the Christian Church, 
we shall have small reason to regret the defection 
of the two Utter Fathers Origen and Athanasius. 

The passage, adduced by Dn Priestley from 
Tertullian, translated as accurately as I am able 
to translate it, runs as follows. 

For the simple indeed^ not to say the imprudent 
and the unlearned (who always constitute the greater 
part of believers) ; since also the very rule of faith 
leads us away from ik^mmmntu gods ef the age to 


' the one true God, not understanding, that he is to 
be believed indeed as one God, but still mth his own 
proper economy ; are alarmed at this economy. The 
number and disposition of the Trinity, they presume 
to be a dhnsion of the Unity: though the Unity, 
deriving from itself the Trinity, is not destroyed, but 
administered, by it. Therefore they are now boasts 
ing, that two Gods and three Gods are preached by 
us ; while they assume, that they themselves are the 
worshippers of one God: just as if the Unity, when 
unecononUcaUy collected, did not produce heresy; 
and Just as if the Trinity, when economically weighed, 
did not constitute the truth. We^ say they, hold 
THE MONARCHY. And SO vocally do even the Latins, 
even the illiterate, express the sound of this greek 
word, that you might imagine them to understand 
the word monarchy^ as well as to pronounce it. But 
the Latins study to give the sound of the greek word 
MONARCHY : and the Greeks are determined not to 
understand the economy ^ 

^ Simplices enim quique, ne dixerira imprudentes et idiotae 
(quae major semper credentium pars est,) quoniam et ipsa 
regula fidei, a pluribus deis saecidi, ad unicum et verum Deum 
transfert ; non intelligentes, unicum quidem, sed cum sua 
oiKovofU^f esse credendum, expavescunt ad ohcoyo/jUar. Nu- 
merum et dispositionem Trinitatis, divisionem praesumunt 
Unitatis; quando Unitas, ex semetipsa derivans Trinitatem, 
non destruatur ab ilia, sed administretur. Itaque duos et tres 
jam jactitant a nobis praedicari, se vero unius Dei cultores prae- 
sumunt : quasi non et Unitas, irrationaliter collecta, haeresim. 
faciat ; et Trinitas, rationaliter expensa, veritatem constituat 



This passage^ Dr, Priestley views, as being, on 
the part of TertuUian, an unwilling and angry con- 

MoKopx^'av, inquiunt, tenemus, £t ita sonum ipsum vocalitei 
exprimunt etiam Latini, etiam opici, ut putes illos t^'bene 
inteiligere fiovafrxfay, qu^m enunciant. Sed fwyap^iav sonarc 
student Latini : oiicovofilav inteiligere nolunt etiam Graeci. 
TertuU.adv. Prax. § 2, 8. Oper. p. 406. 

I. On my translation of this passage, it may perhaps be 
useful to offer a few remarks. 

1. Tertullian's irrationaliter and rationaliter, I have ren- 
dered by uneconomically and economically. 

The terras, if I mistake not, are technical : and they allude 
to what, in the course of the present Tractate, TertuUian calh 
the ratio ceeonomi<x ; by which he means the orderly arrange- 
ment of persons in the Unity of the Godhead. 

Duos quidem definimus Patrem et Filium, et jam tres cuii 
Spiritu Sancto, secundum rationem ceconomice quae facit nu- 
merum. Tertull. adv. Prax. § 10. Oper. p. 413. 

In TertuUian's phraseology, Irrationaliter collecta is as mucl 
as to say, Ita collecta ut nullam oeconomue rationem habeas, 
and Rationaliter expensa is equivalent to Secundum oeconomia 
rationem expensa. 

He uses the same phraseology, with the same reference tc 
orderly arrangement, in his Work against Marcion. 

Nulla res sine ordine potest rationalis vindicari, tanto abesi 
ut ratio ipsa in aliquo ordinem amittat. Tertull. adv. Marcion 
lib. i. § 16. Oper. p. 161. 

2. By simplices, Tertullian clearly means simple-minded am 
unsuspicious of evil. 

His simpliceSf therefore, were peculiarly liable to be per- 
plexed by the innovating subtleties of Praxeas. 

3. The imprudentes are, in characteristic description, a ste| 
beyond the simplices. 

I take them to be pfl|flflHMM|dbiMftcqwctotii of evil^ but 


fession : that The majority of believers^ witldn the 
pale of the Catholic Churchy still were in his time, 
as they always had been from the very beginning, 

imfortunately abo incautious and hasty in talang up a plausihU 
opinion without having well weighed its evidence and its merits, 

4. This conduct is the more reprehensible and mischievous, 
because they are idiotce or unlearned. 

Whence, plainly, they are but ill qualified to decide peremp- 
torily on the right interpretation of Scripture. 

5. The phrase, fwyapj^iav sonarCj is, by Dr. Priestley, some- 
what ludicrously translated, to bawl out for the monarchy : and, 
in this very peculiar rendering, he has been, as usual, carefully 
followed by the Barrister. 

Yet it may be doubted, whether the expression alludes to 
any particular strength of lungs possessed by the Latins. 

I conceive it rather to mean : that the Latins did not attempt 
to translate, into their own language, tlie greek word fiovapxia, 
by any such term (for instance) as uniregmen ; but that (just 
as we Enghsh do, when, instead of single-government^ we say 
monarchy^ which we have naturalised from the Greek), in their 
theological disputes, they used the precise greek word itself 

Bishop Horsley, more accurately than Dr. Priestley and the 
Barrister^ renders the original : Latins have caught up the word 


The true import of the phrase is, I believe, that which has 
been specified. 

IL These perhaps are matters of no great consequence, so 
fiir as the vitals of the debate are concerned : yet, to the best 
of our ability, we may as well be accurate as inaccurate. 

For the translations of Dr. Priestley and the Barrister, see 
Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 4. Works, vol. v. p. 41. Hist, of 
Early Opin. book iii. chap. 13. sect. 2. Works, vol. vi. p. 486, 
487. Letters by another Barrister, p. 275. 



Hence he infers : that his own Creed was the un- 
doubted Creed of the primitive apostolic Church. 

For 9uch persons, he observes, as simple and wi" 
learned people, are very likely to retain old opinions : 
and are always far less subject to innovate, than the 

Let it, then, be particularly borne in mind: 
that. According to Dr. Priestley, the Antitrinita^ 
rians, censured by Tertullian, were persons who 


This point, as we shall presently find, is a matter 
of such considerable importance, that I subjoin 
Dr. Priestlejr's own precise statement. 

Nothing, says he, can be more decisive than the 
evidence of Tertullian to this purpose : who, in the 
follomng passage, which is too plain and circum- 
stantial to be misunderstood by any person, positively 
asserts, though with much peevishness; that The 
Unitarians, who held the doctrine of the divi- 
nity OF CHRIST IN abhorrence, wcrc the greater 
part of Christians in his time. 

Then, as proof peremptory of the allegation 
before us, comes the passage from Tertullian: 
which I have already given at fall length, and 
which forms the subject of the present discussion K 

' Hist, of Early Opin. book iii. chap. 13. sect. 2. Works, 
vol. vi, p. 485 — 487., 


Thus, from his own unambiguous declaration, it 
appears: that the historical fact, which, on the 
strength of the passage now before us. Dr. 
Priestley undertakes to maintain, is clearly and 
distinctly the following. 

The unitarians, who held the doctrine of the 
divinity of christ in abhorrence, were the 
greater part of christuns in the time of ter- 


Such is the historical fact, which Dr. Priestley 
maintained on the authority of the supposed 
reluctant confession of the African Father : and 
such is the historical fact, which is still main- 
tained by his successors, if I may judge from a 
recent statement of the matter by the anonymous 
Barrister ; a statement, wholly borrowed from the 
previous statement of Dr. Priestley, every argu- 
ment being industriously repeated, and every error 
being faithfully retained '. 

Now it appears to me, unless I entirely misun- 
derstand the purport of their language : that these 
two writers, the Historian and the Barrister, wish 
to set forth three several propositions, as being 
fully and undeniably established by the passage 
in Tertullian ; for, in good truth, unless it does 
establish these three several propositions, I am 
quite at a loss to perceive its appositeness to their 

* Letters by another Barrister, p. 104, 105, 275, 276. 

64 THE APosTOLicmr ZjBoojii n. 

The ^rst proposition is : that The mc^orky of 
believers, within the pale of the Catholic Church and 
in actual (Mowed communion with the CathoBe 
Church, were, in the days of TertulUan, zeabms 
and decided Antitrinitarians, 

The second proposition is: that These over^ 
whelmingUf numerous catholic Antitrimtarians ut- 

contending, like the modem Antitrinitarians,for the 
doctrine of his mere humanity. 

The third proposition is : that The antitrtni- 
tarian system of this vast majority of believers within 
the pale of the Catholic Church was the faith of that 
Catholic Church from the very beginning ; for the 
doctrine, advocated by TertulUan, was a mere spe* 
culative innovation, which confessedly met with small 
acceptance among the honest and simple-minded 

These are the three propositions, set forth in 
the argument of Dr. Priestley and the Barrister, 
and involved in the alleged historical fact which 
they have undertaken to maintain. 

That Every one of them, so far as the evidence of 
TertulUan is concerned, advances a direct falsehood : 
it requires small exertion to demonstrate. 

I. The first of the three propositions, supposed 
to be established by the passage in Tertullian, is : 
that The majority of believers, within the pale of 
the CathoUc Church and in actual allowed com- 
munion with the Catholic Church, were, in the days 


of TertuUiaa, zealous and decided Antitrimta- 

1. By the disciples of the modern Unipersonal 
School, on the authority of Dr. Priestley, no 
assertion has ever been made more repeatedly or 
more confidently, than that which is now before 
us. Yet, so far as the evidence of Tertullian is con- 
cerned upon which it professes to repose, no asser- 
tion was ever more totally devoid of truth. With 
all the care and attention which I can command, 
I have agfun and again perused the passage adduced 
in support of the present assertion : but 1 can dis- 
cover nothing Kke the angry confession, which has 
been so triumphantly attributed to Tertullian. 

The African Father does not say : that The 
majority of believers, in his own time, shuddered at 
the doctrine of the Trinity ; as, by one humani- 
tarian writer after another, from Dr. Priestley 
down to the Barrister, he has been confidently 
exhibited as confessing. 

But he says : that The majority of believers are 
ALWAYS ignorant and illiterate men ; and that 
those, who took fright at the economy, were of this 
particular class of individuals '. 

* In hia own precise words, Tertullian's slatement ia this. 

Ini^iidentes et idioUe, quae major sehfer credentium pars 
c*t, expavescunt ad oivora^iav. 

When thrown out of its accidental relative form, the clause 
mil, of course, run as follows. 




Tertullian's remark, so strangely distorted by 
Dr. Priestley and his followers, merely propounds 
one of those general truths, which are equally 
predicable of all ages. In the days of Tertullian, 
in the days before Tertullian, in the days of our 
fathers, in our own days, in every period of eccle- 
siastical history, ignorant and illiterate men must 
ALWAYS of very necessity constitute an immense 
majority of believers. The remark, or (if it please 

Imprudentes et idiotee major semper credentium pars est 
Imprudentes autem et idiotae expavescunt ad otcovo/iiav. 

While speaking of the great majority of believers, Tertullian 
says not a syllable respecting his own time in particular : hit 
expression, as the subject plainly required, is the generalising 


As little does he say ; that The majority of his believing 
contemporaries shuddered at the doctrine of the Trinity, He 
merely states ; that The majority of believers is always com- 
posed of ignorant and illiterate and rashly presumptuous men : 
and then he adds ; that Individuals of this class, who are 
obviously the most liable to be imposed upon and thence pre* 
maturely to form a hasty judgment^ through the suggestions of 
Praxeas suddenly took fright at the economy. 

From the very plain statement of Tertullian now before us, 
Dr. Priestley has learned : that The Unitarians , wlto held the 
doctrine of the divinity of Christ in abhorrence, were the greater 
part of Christians in his time. 

Nay more : he actually declares ; that such, though with 
much peevishness, is the positive assertion of Tertullian himself 
And he crowns all, by gravely assuring us : tliat nothing can 
be more decisive, than the evidence of Tertullian to this pur- 
pose ; and that the passage, which I have given above, is too 
plain and circumstantial to be misunderstood by any person. 


Dr, Priestley and the Barrister so to denominate 
it) the peevish confession, is very true and very trite. 
TertuUian is led to naake it : not as conceding any 
things which might seem to be extorted from him ; 
but merely to account for the circumstance, that 
some simple men in his time were terrified at the 
doctrine of the Trinity, lest it should appear to 
carry them back to gentile Polytheism. They 
were simple men : nay more, they were imprudent 
and unlearned, such as the majority of believers, 
in every age and in every country, must always be. 
Hence, what better informed men would not have 
been equally liable to, they were easily terrified 
by the abstract difficulties suggested to them in 
regard to the doctrine of the Trinity. As to the 
number of these terrified illiterates, TertuUian, in 
the present passage, is wholly silent. They might 
\iefew, or they might be many. All, that he here 
intimates respecting them, is : that they were sim- 
ple unlearned men, such as must always consti- 
tute a great majority of believers ; and that the 
panic had seized some persons of this quality and 
description among both the Greeks and the 

Such is the general remark of Tertullian, con- 
veyed in terms, than which nothing can be more 
clear and explicit. But I vainly seek for the 
peevish confession, which modern Unipersonalists 
have gratuitously forced into his mouth : that The 
majority of his believing contemporaries, within the 

F 2 


pale of the Catholic Church, were zealous and de- 
cided Antitrinitarians. 

In truth, one might well have imagined, that 
the very word always, here employed by Ter- 
tuUian, would have effectually prevented the pos- 
sibility of error. 

Imprudent and unlearned men, says he, when his 
words are thrown out of their accidentally relative 
form: Imprudent and unlearned men are always 
the greater part of believers. 

Thus speaks TertuUian : yet, by way of prop- 
ping up the cause of Antitrinitarianism, a gene- 
ral proposition is, first, transmuted into a particu- 
lar proposition ; and, next, the recently manufac- 
tured particular proposition is metamorphosed into 
quite another proposition of a wholly different pur- 

Through the agency of such extraordinary 
management, TertuUian, could he look out of his 
grave, would be sorely puzzled to recognise his 
own literary offspring. 

For, in the plastic hands of Dr. Priestley, the 
African's real and very simple proposition ; impru- 
dent AND UNLEARNED MEN are, ALWAYS, the greater 
part of believers: becomes, most unexpectedly, the 
entirely different proposition ; in the time of ter- 
TULLiAN, tlie greater part of believers were unita- 

Let only Tertullian's always be transmuted into 


Dr. Priestley's in the time of tertullian ; and 
let Tertullian's imprudent and unlearned men be 
metamorphosed into Dr. Priestley's unitarians 


IN ABHORRENCE : and the establishment of the pro- 
position, which the English Historian maintains on 
the authority of the African Father, will be full 
and complete. 

I have only to add, that, on the strength of the 
identicid clause now before u$. Dr. Priestley, not 
once only, but even repeatedly, describes Tertul- 
lian as confessing : that The greater part of be- 
liepers, in his time, were Unipersonalists who rejected 
with abhorrence the doctrine of Christ s divinity K 

2. The matter, we might reasonably think, is 
quite plain from the very language adopted by 
Tertullian : and the only wonder is, how he could 
ever have been so singularly misapprehended and 
so marvellously misrepresented. But, should any 
antitrinitarian writer be still hardy enough to ad- 
vocate the strange gloss of the historian, let him 
hear the learned Father unambiguously declare : 
that, so far from the majority of his believing con- 
temporaries symbolising with Dr. Priestley, the 
worship of the second person of the Holy Trinity 

* See Hist, of Corrupt, part. i. sect. 4. Works, toI. v. p. 41. 
Letters to Bp. Horsley, part ii. lett. 7. Works, vol. xviii. 
p. 191. Hist, of Early Opin. book i. chap. 4. sect. .5. Works, 
vol. vi. p. 140. Ibid. Conclus. sect. 4. Works, vol. vii. p. 190. 



as very God was universally prevalent in every 
country where the Grospel was planted. 

Ify says he, Solomon reigned, but only xvithin the 
limits of Palestine : in that case, the boundaries of 
his kingdom reached no further than from Beersheba 
to Dan. If Darius reigned over the Babylonians 
and the Persians : still he had no power beyond them, 
nor did he reign over all nations. The same remark 
equally applies to Pharaoh, to Nebuchadnezzar, to 
Alexander the Great, nay even to the Romans. But 
the kingdom and name of Christ are every where 
extended: every where is he believed in : by all the 


where he reigns : every where he is adored : every 
where to all he is equally distributed. With him, a 
kii$g has no preeminent favour: neither does he 
specially exult in the submission^ of some imperious 
barbarian : nor yet does he pay any peculiar respect 
to high official rank or to splendid nobility of birth. 
To all he is equal : to all he is a king : to all he is 
their judge: to all he is god and lord \ 

' Nam, si Salomon regnavit ; sed in finibus Juds tantum : a 
Beersabia usque Dan, termini ejus regni signantur. — Christi 
autein regnum et nomen ubique porrigitur. Ubique creditur : 
ab omnibus gentibus supra enumeratis colitur : ubique regnat : 
ubique adoratur : omnibus ubique tribuitur aequaliter : non regrts 
apud ilium major gratia: non barbari alieujus imperiosi laetitia: 
non dignitatum aut natalium discreta merita. Omnibus, sequa- 
lis : omnibus, rex : omnibus, judex : omnibus, Deus et Do- 
minus est. Teriull. adv. Jud. de regn. Christ, aetern. Oper. 
p. 126, 127. 



Few persons^ I think, when they have read this 
explicit assertion of a naked historical fact, 
which, if false, would have been forthwith con- 
tradicted, will incline to believe : that TertuUian 
elsewhere, as Dr. Priestley assures us, positively 
declares, though with much peevishness, that the 
Unitarians, who held the doctrine of the divinity of 
Christ in abhorrence, were the greater part of 


For the distinct attestation of Tertullian ; that, hoth in his 
own time, and likewise from the very heginning, the doctrine 
of the Trinity, no less than the doctrine of Christ's godhead, 
had been miiversally received as the undoubted faith of the 
Apostles : see above, book i. chap. 6. § v. 

* Hist, of Early Opin. book iii. chap. 13. sect. 2. Works, 
vol. vi. p. 486. 

Even in the very Treatise whence Dr. Priestley professes 
to have learned this extraordinary circumstance, namely the 
Treatise against Praxeas, Tertullian actually assures us : that 
the great collective body of his plain fellow- believers, as the 
sweeping word nostrorum obviously imports, were accustomed, 
in simplicity of interpretation, to say ; that The Word mas with 
Gad in the beginning. 

Jam in usu est nostrorum, per simplicitatem interpretationis, 
Semumem dicere in primord'to apud Deumfuisse. Tertull. adv. 
Prax. § 3. Oper. p. 407. 

By the existence of the Word with God in the beginning, they 
doubtless understood, as Tertullian himself understood, the eter- 
nal existence of Christ or the divine Word with God the Father. 

Sermo ergo et in Patre semper, sicut dixit ; Ego in Patre : 
et apud Deum semper, sicut scriptum est; Et Sermo erat apud 
Deum, Tertull. adv. Prax. § 6. Oper. p. 409. 

Tertullian himself, indeed, from the circumstance of the greek 


IL The second proposition, deduced from the 
passage now before us, is : that The overwhelming 
majority of catholic Antitrinitarians so peevishly 
stigmatised by the irascible Father, utterly ab* 


tending, like tlie modem Antitrinitarians, for the 
doctrine of his mere humanity. 

1. Whatever may be the credit which Dr. 
Priestley has obtained among his own followers 
as a faithful historian of the manifold Corruptions 
of Christianity, this second proposition is not a whit 
more true than its predecessor. 

To the citer nothing is more dangerous, and to 
the unlearned or incautious reader nothing is 
more mischievous, than the naked quotation of a 

term A6yoQ denoting both Word and Reason, thinks fit to refine 
upon the phraseology of St. John : for he argues ; that, in 
strict propriety of speech, we ought to say, that the Reeuon wu 
eternally with God prior to the creation of the world ; and that 
the same Reason, in the superadded character of the Word, was 
prolatively or (as Athenagoras speaks) energetically with God^ 
when the world was created. But, nevertheless, he distinctly 
tells us : that our people, or the great collective body of his 
fellow-believers, rested in that simplicity or obviousness of inter- 
pretation, by which they understood that Christ or the divine 
Word was with God in the beginning. 

Yet, with this attestation looking him full in the face, does 
Dr. Priestley, on the alleged authority of this identical Ter- 
tullian speaking in this identical Tractate, assure us : that The 
great majority or the bulk of Christians, in the time of that 
Father, were Unitarians, jvho held the doctrine of the divinity of 
Christ in abhorrence. 


passage without attending to its general context 
and bearing. 

The anonymous Barrister^ who has recently 
taken up and in full confidence stated the antitri- 
nitarian view of the place in Tertullian^ clearly 
and indisputably has never examined the Tractate 
in which the place itself is contained : but> with- 
out giving himself any further trouble, both pas- 
sage and translation and exposition he has alike 
implicitly borrowed from his great master Dr. 

Hence it seems not once to have occurred to 
him ; that the Antitrinitarians^ whom Tertullian 
censured and whom the historian has rapidly set 
down as an incalculable majority of believers within 
the pale of the Catholic Church at the close of the 
second century, might peradventure have been 
disciples of a totally different School from that to 
which he himself belongs : but^ quite as a thing 
of course, with all the credulity of soon satisfied 
ignorance, he notes them in his book to be pal- 
pably and indubitably his ozan. 

Every word, in his whole statement of the mat- 
ter, shews with perfect clearness: that he sup- 
poses these ancient Antitrinitarians to be the 
genuine doctrinal forefathers of the modem Anti- 
trinitarians. That is to say, he supposes these 
ancient Antitrinitarians to be men, who so main" 
tained the exclusive divinity of the Father as to assert 
the mere humanity of Christ. 


This remark^ on the Barrister's opinion im- 
plicitly adopted from Dr. Priestley, equally applies 
to various other recent publications of the same 
SchooL Their authors, so far as I have hap- 
pened to notice, profess themselves content to 
symbolise in doctrine with TertuUian's simple illi- 
terates : and are willing to leave the mysteries of 
Christ's godhead and the Trinity, to that learned 
innovator and his philosophical associates. 

Into such an opinion they have doubtless been 
universally led by their too implicit confidence in 
the historical accuracy of Dr. Priestley. 

That very unsafe guide, whom they hastily sup- 
pose to have been careful in examining the con- 
text of the passage, had, on the alleged authority 
of TertuUian's peevish confession, assured them : 


So, in his own proper words (for, without the 
alteration of a letter, I am careful to give the 
diligent historian's own proper wo7'ds), Dr. Priestley 
had assured them : and, as they entertained no 
doubt of his strict veracity, so, without further 
examination, they were content to believe. 

2. Yet, after all, who, in truth, were these 
simple illiterates, thus highly extolled as the very 

* Hist of Early Opin. book iii. chap. 13. sect. 2. Works, 
vo\. vi. p. 486. 


mirror of unbroken primitive orthodoxy, and thus 
conBdently adduced as perfectly in docbine sym- 
holising with themselves, by Dr. Priestley and his 
readily acquiescent followers ? 

That the illiterates in question were seized with 
a panic on account of the supposed consequences 
which they had been taught to view as flowing 
from the doctrine of the Trinity, is indeed, from 
the passage, most abundantly evident : but, that, 
in their zeal for the exclusive honour of the 
Father, they maintained the bare humanity of 
Jesus Christ (as the Antitrinitarians of the present 
(lay, on the authority of their favourite historian, 
seem much too hastily to have taken for granted), 
is by no means equally certain. Without its con- 
text, the insulated passage merely states the fact : 
that they were Antitrinitarians'. On the precise 

' For this rACT, the anonymous BerriBter professes himself 
muck obliged to the learned Father. Lett. p. S76. 

The obligation, 1 suspect, will turn out to be not more over- 
powering than the Banister's acquaintance with the hebrew 

I am not so unreasonable, as to assert : that a knowledge of 
the ancient language of Israel is, in any wise, essential to the 
npeUex of an accomplished lawyer, whether his practice be in 
the ordinary courts or in the peculiar court of Chancery. But 
1 cerUinly do think : that, anterior to the gratuitous enactment 
of a hebrew critic, the hebrew tongue itself OMqjat, a* a preparatory 
step, at least to have been learned, if not profoundly atuditd. 

I, In order to nullify ihe proof of Christ's godhead, derived 
fiom the circumstance of his being called in Scripiure both ood 


NATURE of their Antitrinitarianism, it throws no 
light : and this unlucky circumstance^ united with 

and JEHOVAH, the Barrister teaches us: that Nothing is man 
common^ than for mere men among the ancient Israelitee to hem 
alike each of those two appellations. 

Whence he concludes : that, by establishing too much, the 
alleged proof destroys itself. 

For, if it establish the divinity of Christ : it will equally es- 
tablish die divinity of various ancient Israelites, 

To this criticism of the anonymous. Barrister, as the reply u 
obvious, so it appears abundantly sufficient. 

In Scripture, Christ is called both god and jehovah, simpli 
or uncompoundedly : whereas no ancient Israelite ever bori 
either the name of god or the name of jehovah, save complexli 
or compoundedly. 

Thus, if a prophet bears the appellation of Elijah^ the litera 
import of which is Jah is my God: we do not appear thenc^ 
to have any very cogent demonstration of that prophet'i 

Whereas, if the same individual, simply or uncompoundedly 
had, like our Lord Jesus Christ, been denominated god oi 
jehovah : I see not, how we could have avoided drawing thi 
identical inference respecting him, which, under parallel cir 
cumstances, we now draw respecting the Messiah. 

II. Here, however, the Barrister is prepared to meet us 
even on our own avowed principle. 

The father ofElihu^ one of Job* s friends, says he, was callet 
barachiel: meaning the very god. Such being the case 
we have a pregnant instance of a confessedly mere man, bear 
ing, in the strongest form possible, the absolute undisguisei 
and undissembled appellation of the alone Deity himself. 

Perhaps it is scarcely worth my while to observe; tha 
Earache!, not Earachiel, was the name of the father of Elihu 
for, in point of import|J^iMB name^ do not materially differ 



a servile reliance on the accuracy of Dr. Priestley, 
has led more than one modem Antitrinitarian into 
a very extraordinary mistake. 

The simple illiterates, who according to the 
historian of Early Opinions, held the doctrine of 


reality, the disciples of Praxeas, against whom 
Tertullian writes the Treatise whence the passage 
has been extracted. 

Antitrinitarians these men undoubtedly were: 
but then their Antitrinitarianism, instead of being 

1 am concerned nith the much graver question of the Barrbter's 
proposed ioterpretation. 

Bakachiel or barachel, he assures us, when rendered into 
Engliah, denotes the veby ood. 

Now where did the Barrister learn the extraordinary gtoa- 
ucal &ct: that THE tbkt god is the import either of bakachiel 

or of BABACUEL? 

For the attainment of this most unexpected information, did 
he study Hebrew, under the auspices of a Jewish Rabbi, or 
under the fostering care of a Gentile Preceptor 7 

The father of Eliku, one of Job't friends, wom called baba- 
cHiEL : meaning the veby ood ! 

Then, resting on the shoulders of this unparalleled criticism, 
comes the effectual demolition of a long supposed decisive 
proof of our Lord's essential divinity! 

For the benefit of those good-natured individuals who deem 
the Barrister unantnerahte (and, that some such persons actu- 
ally exist, I have been credibly inrormed), I think it right to 
state, what any tyro in tlie Hebrew would leach him: that 
BABACHEL denotes ood hath blessed ; while barachiel, if the 
name were ever used, would signify ood hatu b 
ittters by another Barrlsl. p. 32, 132, 133, 135. 


built upon THE DENIAL OR (as Dr. Priestley speaks) 


pose of more effectually honouring the Father, 
was, in truth, built upon its complete opposite thb 


Like their master Praxeas, who had followers, 
it appears, both among the Greeks and among the 
Latins, the illiterates contended : that Christ was 
not only the same God, but the same person also, as 
the Father and the Holy Ghost. They maintained : 
that, when we read of Father and Son and Spirit, 
each plainly (as they allowed) described as very 
God ; we are thence to conclude, not that there 
are three distinct persons in one essential Deity,. 
but that God who exists in naked and monoprosopic 
unity is described to us under three several appella- 
tions. This one God, thus distinguished by three 
names, and thus existing not as three persons but 
as one person, appeared upon earth, in a human 
form, as the Lord Jesus Christ. For the one 
person of the one God, under his name of the 
Holy Ghost, obumbrated the blessed Virgin : the 
same one person of the same one God, under his 
appellation of the Father, became incarnate from 
the womb of Mary thus obumbrated by himself: 
and still the same one person of the same one 
God, under his title of the Son, being found in 
fashion as a man, through the incarnate union of 


the divine nature of the Father with the human 
nature of Jesus Christ, suffered death on the 
cross for the piacular expiation of our transgres- 
sions in order that he might thus make satisfaction 
to his own offended attribute of justice. 

Hence Praxeas and his followers, who (accord- 
ing to TertuUian) were mainly found among the 
simple and the illiterate ; as they contended for 
the perianal identity of the Father and the Son 
and the Spirit, and as they held that the single 
person of God (denominated the Father, as well as 
the Son and the Spirit) suffered death incarnate on 
the cross : for these reasons, Praxeas and his fol- 
lowers were styled Patripassians or persona who 
held the passion of the Father. 

The doctrine, in short, of these ancient Antitri- 
nitarians, to set it in full contrast with that of our 
modern Antitrinitarians, was this. 

instead of so maintaining the exclusive deity of 
the Father as to assert the bare humanity of Christ, 
like Dr. Priestley and the anonymous Barrister 
and all others of the same School : they main- 
tained, that tite one true God, existing in the unity 
of a single person, became incarnate in t/ie true man 
Christ Jestu '. 

' Perhaps I may here be permitted to put a Tew queBliom, 
both to the admiiera of the late Ur. Priestley, and likewise to 
the uKmsrmous Barrister. 

I. With the Worka af Tenullian open before him, Dr. 


3. With such information relative to the true 
character of the antitrinitarian illiterates censured 

Priestley has made two assertions, of which I should be glad to 
hear some further account. 

1 . Respecting Tertullian himself, he asserts : that He speaks 
of the common people^ as simple unitarians. Hist, of Early 
Opin. book iii. chap 17. Works, vol. vii. p. 33. 

By The common people^ Dr. Priestley means, no doubt, not 
A Jew straggling perverted individuah of that class ; but The 
whole christian common people collectively : and« by Simple 
Unitarians, he clearly means, not Arians or SahelUans ; but, 
as he himself explains his own phrase. Unitarians who held the 
doctrine of the divinity of Christ in abhorrence^ or Pereons who 
80 held the exclusive divinity of the Father as to deny the divimiy 
of Christ, 

Now I should feel it an obligation, if any admirer of his two 
Histories would inform me : where it is, that Tertullian speaks 
of the common people as being collectively simple Unitarians t 

2. There is another assertion, which, like his last, Dr. 
Priestley avowedly makes on the authority of Tertullian. 

This new term economy, it appears, was not well understood 
or easily relished by those who called themselves the advocates 
for THE MONARCHY OF THE FATHER : a term, much used in those 
days, to denote the supremacy and sole divinity of the Father in 
opposition to that of the Son, Hist, of Corrupt, part. i. sect. 4. 
Works, vol. V. p. 41. 

I shall be thankful to learn : where it is, that Tertullian ever 
introduces that alleged well known term, the monarchy of the 
FATHER, as the current phraseology of the Antitrinitarians 
whom he is censuring ; under the precise asserted aspect, that, 
in those days, the term was much used to denote the supremacy 




by Tertullian, we are abuDdantly furnished : both 
by the immediate context of the passage itse^, now 

And I shaD be yet additionally tbankfiil to learn : how bco- 
VOMT, as used in reference to the incarnate divinity of the second 
person of the Trinity, could, in the days of Tertullian or about 
the year 200, be a new term ; when the same term, in the same 
sense, had already been used« both by Justin and by Ignatius, 
nearly seventy years and nearly one hundred years earlier than 
die time of the aU^ed novelty-manufacturer Tertullian ? 
Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 204, 253. Ignat. Epist. ad 
Epbes. § xviii. 

II. The anonymous Barrister, whose intimacy with the writ- 
ings of Tertullian and Origen may rival that of Dr. Priestley 
Imnself, is exactly in the same story with his master. 

Or^cfs knew fidl well : thaU had he ventured to speak out, 
iike TertulUant to the mixed multitttde of greek Christians with 
»W he was conversant ; he would have heard their voices raised 
9s loudly in favour of thb monarchy of the father, as Ter- 
lnlUan had heard the voices of the Latins. He, therefore, took 
a more prudent course. Letters, p. 281. 

1. I should be obliged to the Barrister, if he would inform 
Be : WHK&E he learned the asserted historical fact ; that TVr- 
hdliasi heard the voices of the Latins raised loudly in favour of 
THE MOVARCHT OT THE FATHER, according to the scnsc, which 
ke himself y after Dr. Priestley, annexes to the phrase ? 

2. I should be yet further obliged to the Barrister, if he 
would inform me : where he learned, that Origen knew full 
mil the matter, which he liberally gives him the credit of 
knowing ? 

With respect to the more prudent course asserted to have 
been taken by Origen, if, for the accurate information of 
modem Unipersonalists, the Barrister really wishes to ascertain 
the mode in which the learned Alexandrian Catechist spake out 
to the mixed multitude of greek Christians with whom he was 

VOL. 11. Tx 


under consideration ; by other passages^ which 
occur in the course of the same Treatise against 
Praxeas whence that passage has been extracted ; 
and likewise by the express attestation of the an- 
cient writer of the Supplement to TertuUian's well 
known Tractate against Heretics. 

(1.) Let us first attend to the immediate con- 
text of the passage itself now under consideration. 

Variously has the devil emulated the truth. Same' 
times, even by defending it, he has tried to shake it. 

conversant, I would advise bim to advert to the actual publie 
Homilies of that painful preacher. Let him take, for instance, 
the following specimen, which I the rather select : partly, be- 
cause it distinctly sets forth the two-fold nature of Christ, divine 
and human ; and partly because it reminds the mixed multitude 
of greek Christians with whom Origen was conversant, that 
such was his habitual mode of addressing them from the 

Ovx^ 6 Qeog, 6 Soiri^p \iyti to, Oi/ioc eyw fi^T-iyp* dW* § 4k- 
dpwiroc, — *H Be i//v)^4 dySpiairlyri ?jy ^lA tovto Koi r£r&(tacrai, 
^la TOVTO Koi ireplXviroc ^y, 'O Be AcJyoc, o ey dp\j ^po^ roy 
Qeoy, oh rcropoicrai cmvoc, ovk ay \eyuty to, Oc/ioi. OvBi yap 
6 AcJyoc tiriBe')(eTai BdyaToy dWa to dyOputwiyoy etrri ro rovro 
eiriBe^dfieyoy, OS HOAAAKIS nAPElSTHSAMEN. Orig. Ho- 
mil. in Jerem. xiv. Oper. vol. i. p. 136. 

The words, Alas me my mother, the Saviour speaks, not as 
God, hut as man, — His soul was that of a man : therefore he 
was disturbed; therefore also he was sore grieved. But the 
Word, who was m the beginning with God, is not disturbed : nor 
does he use the expression, Alas ! JFbr the Word is incapable of 
enduring death : but, as we have oftentimes propounded 
TO YOU, it was the human soj^a^k endured it. 


Thus, to the one Omnipotent Lord, lie assigns indeed 
the attribute of Creator : but yet lie so assigns it, that 
from the very unity of God he may elicit heresy. 
For he says : that the Father himself descended into 
the Virgin, was himself born from her, did himself 
st^er; in fine, was himself Jesus Christ. — 

This strange modification of perverseness was first, 
by Praxeas, transplanted out of Asia into Roman 
ground. — He banished the Paraclete, and crucified 
the Father. 

Moreover, the tares of Praxeas ^ here also dissemi- 
nated, had not failed to produce fruity while many 
were sleeping in simplicity of doctrine: yet, being 
removed hence by the agency of him whom God willed, 
they seemed to he even eradicated. — But those tares 
had then every where shaken out their seed. Hence, 
through hypocrisy, it lay hid for a time in crafty 
fswadousness : and now, at length, it lias once more 
broken out. — 

The Father then, forsooth, was bom after time ! 
The Father suffered! Tlie Lord God Omnipotent 
Umse^ is preached cw Jesu^s Christ ! — 

Yetf in the case of those who have been thus per^ 
verted, we ought also to give room for retractatio7is : 
for let not any perverseness seem to be condemned 
without examination ; least of all, this, wMch claims 
to possess unmixed truth, while it thinks, that Tlie one 
God is no otherwise to be believed, than if it should 
pronounce the Father and the Son and the Holy 
Sfirit to be one and the same person. — 



For the simple indeed, not to say the imprudent 
and the unlearned (who always constitute the greater 
part of believers) ; since also the very rule of fmth 
leads us away from tJie numerous gods of the age ip 
the one true God, not understanding, that he is to be 
believed indeed as one God, but still with his cum 
proper economy ; are alarmed at this economy. The 
number and disposition of the Trinity, they preeume 
to be a division of the Unity : though the Unity, de- 
riving from itself the Trinity, is, by it, not destroyed, 
but administered. Therefore they are now boasting, 
that two Gods and three Gods are preached by us; 
while tliey assume, that they themselves are the wor* 
s flippers of only one God : just as if the Unity, when 
uneconomically collected did not produce heresy; 
and as if the Trinity, when economically weighed, 
did not constitute the truth. We, say they, hold 
THE MONARCHY. And SO vocally do even the Latins, 
even the illitei^ate, express the sound of this Greek 
word, that you might imagine them to understand the 
word monarchy, as well as to pronounce it. But 
the Latins study to give the sound of the Greek 
xvord monarchy : and ilie Greeks are determined not 
to understand the economy \ 

* Vari^ diaboIuB aemulatus est veritatem, Adfectavit illaiQ» 
aliquando defendendo, concutere. Unicum Dominum vindicat 
omnipotentem mundi creatorem, ut et de unico haeresim faciat. 
Ipsum dicit Patrem descendisse in virginem ; ipsum ex ea 
natum ; ipsum passum ; denique ipsum esse Jesum Christum. 



(2.) Let US next attend to certain other pas- 
sages^ which occur in the course of the same 
Treatise against Praxeas, whence Dr. Priestley 
and the Barrister have learned : that^ in the time 
of Tertullian^ an immense majority of catholic be- 
lievers symbolised in doctrine with our modem 

Behold, I assert : tliat the father is one person ; 


ANOTHER PERSON. Forthmth, each illiterate or per- 
verted individual takes this language in bad part : 
09 if it expressed diversity, and as if from diversity it 
protended the separation of the Father and the Son 
md the Spirit. But I say this through necessity : 
since they, adulating the Monarchy in opposition to 

Nae iste primus ex Asia hoc genus perversitatis intulit 
Romantt humo. — Paracletum fugavit : et Patrem crucifixit. — 

Fnicticaverant aveiue Praxianae, hie quoque superseminatae, 
domuentibus multis in simplicitate doctrinae : traductse dehinc 
per quern Deus voluit, etiam evubse videbantur. — Avenae 
vero ills ubique tunc semen excusserant. Ita aliquamdiu 
per hjrpocrisin, subdola vivacitate, latitavit : et nunc denuo 
erapiu — 

Itaqne post tempus Pater natus, et Pater passus ! Ipse Deus 
Dominus omnipotens Jesus Christus prsedicatur ! — 

Ubique tamen, propter instructionem et munitionem quorun- 
dam, dandus est etiam retractantibus locus: vel ne videatur 
onaqiifleque perrersitas, non examinata, sed praejudicata, dam- 
nari ; maiuni^ haeCy quae se existimat meram veritatem possidere, 
dam imicimi Deum non alias putat credendumi quam si ipsum 
emideinque et Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum dicat. 
TertulL adv. Prax. Oper. p. 404 — 406. 


the Economy, contend; that the father and the 


mean, however, only : that, by distribution^ not by 


Christ cannot but be, either the Father, or the 
Son : for the one or the other of these two persons 
he MUST be. And neither are the day and the night 
the same : neither are the Father and the Son the 
same, so that they both should be one person, and 
that either should be both, a^ these vain Monarch- 
isis contend. He himself made himself a son to 
himself, say they. Nevertheless, by the very ne- 
cessity of language, father implies son : and son 
implies father. And they, who partake of either 
relation, can in no zvise be so constituted to them^- 
selves by themselves: so that the Father should make 
himself a Son to himself, and that the Son should 
make himself a Father to himself^. 

^ Ecce enim dico : alium esse Patrem ; et, alium, Filium ; 
et, alium, Spiritum. Mal^ accepit idiotes quisque, aut per* 
versus, hoc dictum : quasi diversitatem sonet ; et, ex diversitate, 
separationem protendat Patris et Filii et Spiritil^s. Necessitate, 
autem, hoc dico; cum eundem Patrem et Filium et Spiritum 
contendunt, adversus olKovofiLav monarchiae adulantes : non 
tamen, diversitate, alium Filium a Patre ; sed distribiitione. 
Tertull. adv, Prax. Oper. p. 410. 

' Ita aut Pater aut Filius est : et neque dies eadem et 110X9 
neque Pater idem et Filius, ut sint ambo unus et utrumque 
alter; quod vanissimi isti roonarchianoe volunt. Ipse se, in- 
quiunt, Filium sibi fecit. At quin pater filium facit : et patrem, 
filius. Et qui, ex alterutro fiunt, a semetipsis sibi fieri nullo 


(3.) Lastly, in full establishment of the real 
sentiments of those ancient Antitrinitarians> who^ 
by a professed historian^ are declared to have held 
the doctrine of the divinity of Christ in abhorrence, 
let US hear the attestation of the old supplementer 
to Tertullian's Tractate against Heretics. 

After all these, a certain Praxeas also introdticed 
a heresy, which Victorinus laboured to corroborate. 
He asserted: that jesus christ is god the father 
ALMIGHTY. He Contended: that this person suf- 
fered AND WAS CRUCIFIED. He propounded, more* 
aver, with profane and sacrilegious temerity : that, 


4. Thus, if I mistake not, we have evidence the 
most explicit and direct : that the Antitrinitarians, 
censured by Tertullian, so far from holding in ab- 
horrence the doctrine of Chrisfs divinity, actually 
maintained the precisely opposite tenet, that Christ 
exclusively was the sole unipersonal God incarnate. 

This singular speculation produced of course 
the following doctrinal difference between the an- 

modo possunty ut Pater se sibi Filium facial, et Filius se sibi 
Patrem praestet. Tertull. adv. Prax. Oper. p. 410. 

' Post ho8 omnes Praxeas quidam haeresim introduxit, quam 
Victorinus corroborare curavit. Hie Deiim Patrem omnipo- 
tentem Jesum Christum esse dicit : huuc crucifixum passumque 
oontendit : mortuum praeterea seipsum sibi scdere ad dexteram 
iuam, cum profana et sacrilega temeritate, proponit. Suppl. 
in TertulL de praescript. adv. haer. § 22. Oper. p. 117. 


cient Catholics and the censured patripassian An- 

The Catholics held : that the one Deity exists 
in three persons ; the second of which three per- 
sons became incarnate in Christ. 

The Patripassians held : that the one Deity ex- 
ists only in one person^ variously denominated tlie 
Fatlier and the Son and the Spirit; which one 
person similarly became incarnate in Christ. 

Hence the Catholics held : that Christ, though 
truly man according to one of his two natures, 
\s, according to the other of his two natures, 
truly, yet not exclusively, God. 

While the Patripassians held : that Christ, though 
truly man according to one of his two natures, is, 
according to the other of his two natures, God, 
not only truly, but exclusively Ukewise \ 

' The precise doctrine, taught by Praxeas in the second 
century, was maintained by Noetus in the third century. Hip- 
polytus, who wrote against this latter heresiarch and his fol- 
lowers, briefly propounds their system in manner following. 

'Opare, aCfX^ot, ttwc TrpoTrcrtc *:at roX/uiypov Eoyfia vapiiiriiyty^ 
icai', ayaKr^vvTwc XeyovriQ' Avtoq kari XpiaroQ 6 Ilar^p, av- 
roc Yioci airroQ iyeyvyOrj, auroc iiraOev, avroc eavrdy Hyeipir, 
Hippol. cont. Noet. § iii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 7. Hamburg. 1716. 

The same doctrine was also taught by Sabellius. With refer- 
ence to this last heresiarch, Augustine has given so valuable a 
comment on John x. 30, that I cannot refrain from subjoin- 
ing it. 

Audi, quomodo credas Patrem et Filium. Audi i|)suni 
FiUum : Ego et Pater tintwi sumus, Non dixit : Pater ego 


III. The third proposition, supposed to be es- 
tablished by the passage in Tertullian, is : that 
the Antitnmt(man system of the illiterates, so in- 
dignantly censured by the African Father, was in 
truth the faith of the Catholic Church from the very 
beginning ; while the doctrine, of Tertullian himself 
W€U a mere speculative innovation, which confessedly 
met with small acceptance among the honest and 
nmple-fiunded majority. 

1. It is probable, that, by this time, the modem 
Antitrinitarian will entertain no great zeal for the 
establishment of the present proposition. 

The reason is obvious. If the Antitrinitarian 
system of Tertullian's illiterates could be shewn to 
have been the faith of the Catholic Church from 

mm: aut Ego et Pater unum est, Sed, cum dicit; Ego et 
Pater unum sumus : utrumque audi, et unum et sumus ; et a 
Charybdi et a Scylla liberaberis. In duobus istis verbis, quod 
dixit uiruMy liberat te ab Ario : quod dixit suhus, liberat te a 
Sabdlio. Si ukum ; non, ergo, divermm : si sumus ; ergo, et 
Pater et Ftlius. Sumus, enim, non diceret de una: sed et 
unum non diceret de diver sis, August, in Johan. Tract, xxxvi. 
Oper. Yol. ix. p. 99. 

We, said our Lord, namely I and the Father^ are one. *£ya> 
mi 6 irariip £N E2MEN. 

Since be sing^arly said one : tbe doctrine of Arius must be 
iabe ; because tbat doctrine would make tbe substance of the 
Son to be different from the substance of the Father. 

Since be plurally said we : the doctrine of Sabellius must be 
fidse ; because that doctrine would make the Father and the 
Son and the Spirit to be nothing more than three variously 
deteripciTe titles of one single person. 



the very beginning : it would be quite clear, that 
modem Antitrinitarianism was not the primitiye 
faith of the Christian Church. For the illiterates 
vehemently contended for the exclusive dwinitjf of 
Christ : whereas modem Antitrinitarians no less 
vehemently contend for his mere humanity. HencCi 
even if, from the present passage in Tertulliao, 
Dr. Priestley could have established; that the 
faith of the censured illiterates was the £aith of 
the Catholic Church from the very beginning : he 
would only, by such an operation, so far as A^ him* 
self was concerned, have given a most effectual 
death-blow to his own system. 

Happily, however, the testimony of the learned 
African needs not to give our modem Antitrini- 
tarians the slightest alarm : for, whatever might be 
the faith of the earliest Church, it certainly was 
not that of the Patripassians. 

That these unlettered objectors to the Economy 
were, so far as the apostolic age is concerned, mere 
novel upstarts : is quite clear from the whole ac- 
count of the matter, as given by TertuUian. 

Their panic in regard to the Trinity, which has 
been strangely converted into an argument to 
prove the apostolic origination of modem Antitrini^ 
tarianism, was, for the most part, unfelt and un- 
heard of in the West, until Praxeas travelled 
thither out of Asia\ The signal of its com- 

' I say, For the most jtart : because Theodotus, the byzan- 


menceinent was his arrival among the Latins : as 
his previous labours in the East had excited a 
similar panic among the Greeks. His fitzt crop 
of occidental tares^ however^ speedily, according 
to TertuUian, disappeared : and, though a second 
had recently sprung up, the good Father hoped 
and anticipated, that it would soon experience a 
mnilar catastrophe. 

Now could these doctrines, thus described by a 
contemporary writer, have flourished, within the 
pale of the Catholic Church, from the very be- 
ginning 9 

Could Tertullian have used such language, if 
every body knew : that, in truth, the simple men 
were the old primitive believers ; and that he and 
his fiiends were notoriously the innovators ? 

Could he have represented Praxeas, as introduci- 
ng the doctrines from Asia into the West : if, all 
the while, they had been immemorially flourishing 
in the West long before the migration of Praxeas 
himself; and if Praxeas, insiedi,dioi introducing ^h^A 
really found them there ? 

dne tanner, had attempted, much about the same time, to 
excite an alarm at Rome, though upon totally different prin- 

Praxeas taught, that Christ exclusively is the unipertanal 
CM : Theodotus taught, that Christ rvus a mere man. 

To cause a panic in regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, 
each laboured in his vocation : for each was, doubtless, an 
Antitrinitarian. But they severally went to work in two 
directly opposite ways. 


How, on the theory of Dr. Priestley, comes Ter- 
tullian to say: They are now boasting, that we 
preach two or three gods ^ 9 

The expression, now, clearly implies : that such 
boasting was of recent origin. At one period, 
while sleeping in the simplicity of that doctrine 
which they held before the arrival of Praxeas, the 
illiterates never thought of such a thing. But 
Praxeas, coming out of Asia where he had already 
been labouring diligently in his vocation, put it 
into their imprudent heads where it had never 
lodged previously: and then commenced the boast- 
ing of superior light and knowledge. 

Even this, however, is not the whole that may 
be remarked on the present most marvellously 
perverted subject. 

As the peculiar Antitrinitarianism of the Patri- 
passians was introduced into the Church, not found 
in the Church, by the branded innovator Praxeas : 
so Praxeas himself enjoyed not the sorry dignity 
of being, with reference to the age of TertuUian, 
an ancient heretic. He was the^r*^, who intro- 
duced his palpably new speculation into the West : 
and, compared with other perverters of the primi- 
tive faith, he is stigmatised by TertuUian as being 
an upstart but of yesterday ^. 

' Itaque duos et tres jam jactitant a nobis prscdicari. Ter- 
tuU. adv. Prax. Oper. p. 406. 

' Nam iste primus ex Asia hoc genus perversitatis intulit 


2, So much for Dr. Priestley s Direct evidence, 
m favour of the early Christians having been gene^ 

Ronmnae hunio, et alias inqaietas. TertuU. adv. Prax. Oper. 
p. 405. 

Hanc regtilam ab initio Evangelii decucurrisse, etiam ante 
priores quosque haereticos, nedum ante Praxean hestemumt 
probabit tam ipsa posteritas omnium haeredcoruroy quam ipsa 
tumelUUu Praxes hesterni. Tertull. adv. Prax. p. 405. 

Sedy poit bos omnes, etiam Praxeas quidam baeresim intro- 
doxit. Supplem. in Tertull. de praescript. adv* haer. § Z%. 
Oper. p. 117. 

Dr. Priestley, as we have seen, tells us : that. In the time of 
TerttManf the greater part of believers mere, as they always 
had been^ Unitarians who held the doctrine of the divinity of 
Christ in abhorrence. 

In anotber place, be again speaks of an argument, for tbe 
novelty of tbe doctrine of the Trinity, whicb may be justly 
framed from tbe ofience that was given by it in the days of that 
Fatber : tohen, so far as he can fnd, the common people first 
heard of it. Append, numb. ix. Works, vol. xviii. p. 538. 

And, in yet another place, he teaches us : that It was with 
great d^fctUty that the generality of Christians were reconciled^ 
to the doctrine of the deity of Christy and to that of the Trinity ; 
and tbat We may^ therefore^ take it for granted, that it had not 
been much heard of among the common people at least, and, if 
so, that it had never been taught by the Apostles. Hist of Early 
Opin. book iii. chap. 14. Works, vol. vi. p. 492. See also Ibid, 
p. 499. 

I. To believe, that Dr. Priestley can have read, with even a 
moderate degree of attention, TertuUian's Tractate against 
Praxeas : is really a matter of no small difficulty. 

So far as the historian can find, the common people first 
heard qf the doctrine of the Trinity in the time of Tertullian / 

It was with great difficulty, that the generality of Christians 


rally Unitarians who held the doctrine of the divinity 
of Christ in abhorrence : evidence, the historian re- 

were reconciled^ to the doctrine of the deity of Christ, and to that 
of the Trinity! 

We may take it for granted, that it had not been much heard 
of among the common people at least ! 

1. Why, the whole Tractate of TertuUian, from beginning to 
end, is one continued censare of the novelties of Praxoas : 
who, after all, instead of teaching his disciples to deny the deity 
of Christy actually identified him with the Father, and main- 
tained his exclusive unipersonal deity. 

2. Accordingly, by starting plausible difficulties against the 
confessedly ancient doctrine of A Triad of three consubstaniial 
Persons in the Unity oftJie true Godhead, Praxeas is described, 
as having perverted many of the unlearned and imprudently 
precipitate, both among the Greeks and among the Latins, 
from that faith in the Trinity, which the Apostles had handed 
down to them, and which they had hitherto universally re- 

d. The very basis of TertuUian's argument is : The acknom^ 
ledged and notorious priority of the Trinitarian System, which 
the common people had always held, until some illiterates among 
them were recently perplexed by the subtleties of the upstart 
Praxeas ; and the glaring novelty of the singular Antitrini" 
tarian System, the System, to wit, of Patripassianism, which 
that man of yesterday, on the score of his own mere dogmatical 
private interpretation, was endeavouring to substitute in its 

II. In short, even to say nothing of the mass of primitive 
testimony which I have already produced, Tertullian himself, 
as if in anticipatory mockery of the historian, attests, under the 
aipect of a mere naked matter of fact : both that The common 
had always, from the very beginning, held the doctrine (^ 
Trinity; and that The doctrine of the TrirUty had been 


marks^ as express as can be desired in the case. But 
we have not yet done with the testimony furnished 
by the passage now under consideration. 

(1.) The simple men^ though^ in consequence of 
the suggestions of Praxeas^ they took alarm at the 
doctrine of the Trinity : yet held, not the bare 
HUMANUT OF CHRIST like the Antitrinitarians of the 
present day^ but his sole and exclusive divinity. 

Now, that their newly adopted doctrine was 
erroneous, both Trinitarian and Antitrinitarian of 
modem times will fully agree. 

But still the question will obtrude itself : How 
came they to adopt such a doctrine ? 

Oi primitive truth it was, no doubt, a corruption. 
On this point, happily, there can be no dispute. 

What, then, was the primitive truth, of which it 
was a corruption ? What was the germ, from which 
apparently it originated ? 

The modem Trinitarian contends : that his 
creed was certainly the creed of the primitive 
apostolic Church. And the modern Antitrinita- 

kanded down to them^ from the very commencement of the Gospel 

Hanc regulam ab initio evanoelii decucurrisse. 

III. Such is the mode, in which Dr. Priestley writes ecclesi- 
astical history. And, be it never forgotten, the question before 
us 18, not a question of opinion, but a question of fact. 

It is in regard to a fact, we see, that Dr. Priestley and Ter- 
tullian differ toto coelo. Yet, incredible as it might well seem 
to a person unacquainted with Dr. Priestley's writings, the 
modem historian, on this identical pointy actually appeals to the 
testimony of the ancient Father. 

96 THE APOSTOLicmr Cbook n. 

rian equally contends : that that honour clearly 
belongs to his creed. 

Such being the case^ if the modem Antitrinita- 
rian be right in his opinion : then the Patripassian- 
ism of the simple men was a corraption of that 
original faiths which taught ; that The Father 
EXCLUsiVELT IS God, that God never became imear^ 
nate, and that Christ was a mere man. 

But, on the contrary, if the modem Trinitarian 
be right in his opinion : then the Patripassianism 
of the simple men was a cormption of that &ith, 
which from the very beginning taught ; that Ghd 
is one in essence, that He exists nevertheless in three 
persons, and that The second of these three persons 
became incarnate in the true man Jesus Christ. 

On which side, then, lies the ground of abstract- 
edly probable origination ? 

Many perhaps will incline to think, that the 
Patripassian System of The exclusive worship of 
Christ as the sole unipersonal Deiiy incarnate, asso^ 
dated with the notion that father and son and 
SPIRIT are simply different names of one divine person, 
bids fairer : to be the corruption of a System which 
teaches, that The second of the three divine persons 
became incarnate in the man Jesus ; than of a Sys- 
tem which teaches, that Christ was a mere man, 
that Tfie Holy Ghost is but a quality, and that 
God under no aspect ever became incarnate. 

(2.) They, who thus incline to think, will not 
be displeased to see the somewhat similar reason- 
ing of Novatian. 


In this place, says he, / may he aUawed to frame 
an argument from the part which is played by other 
heretics. That is a firm sort of proof, which is 
taken even from an adversary : so that, from the 
very enemies of the truth, tfie truth may be estor 
bKsbed. For so far as this it is manifest^ that Christ 
is declared in Scripture to be God: inasmuch as 
most heretics, struck with the magnitude and truth of 
Ms divinity, and thence beyond all bounds extending 
his honours, have dared to broach or to believe ; that 
he is not distinctively the Son, but that he is even 
Chd the Father himself Which notion, however 
contrary it may be to scriptural verity, is yet a 
mighty and powerful argutnent for the divinity of 
Christ : since he is so evidently and decidedly God, 
though, in so far forth as he is the Son of God, bom 
from God; that most heretics receive him as God in 
mch a manner, as to pronounce him not distinctively 
the Son but especially the Father. Let persons, 
then, well consider, whether he must not needs be 
God, whose authority has so greatly moved some, 
that they deem him even God the Father himself : 
the manifest divinity of Christ compelling them to 
confess divinity in Christ too unrestrainedly and 
^usely ; so that, whom they read to be the Son, 
they forthwith, because they perceive him to be God, 
pronounce him to be the Father K 

' No¥at. de Trin. in Oper. TertuU. p. 614. This statement 
of NoTatian is one of the many passages, from the ancient 
TOL. n. H 




We have now, though with small emolument, 
travelled through Dr. Priestle)r*s direct evidence in 
favour of the early Christians having been generally 
Unitarians who held the doctrine of Christ's divimty 
in abhorrence. He thinks, however, that the same 
important fact may be gathered, clearly though 
indirectly, from the timid courtesy of Justin Martyr, 
who flourished at a yet earlier period than Ter- 
tullian. It may be useful, therefore, to attend 
upon him, while stating his theory in regard to 
the alleged malpractices of this very ancient 

That the doctrine of Christ's divinity is now 
held, and that during the lapse of many ages it has 
been held, by the entire Catholic Church, is a fact 
too notorious to be denied. 

Now, by the Antitrinitarians, this doctrine is 


supposed to be a gross corruption of primitive 
truth, utterly unknown to the sincere believers of 
the apostolic age^ and forming no part of the theo- 
logical system which was taught either by Christ 
himself or by his immediate disciples. 

Such being the case, the doctrine must have had 
a commencement at some indefinite time subse- 
quent to the apostolic age. 

Hence, on their own principles, the members of 
the Antitrinitarian School stand pledged to define 
and to specify the time of its commencement : and 
hence, unless this necessary task can be performed 
to the satisfaction of the conscientious inquirer, 
the whole fabric of Antitrinitarianism, so far as 
respects the point of apostoUcal sanction and abo- 
riginal antiquity, must inevitably sink to the 
ground, a disjointed mass of unseemly ruins. 

The force of the present statement seems to have 
been tacitly felt and acknowledged : and, as it has 
produced more than one attempt to solve a diffi- 
culty of no ordinary magnitude ; so it has led to 
an exhibition of historical inconsistency, which 
anteriorly might have been justly deemed well 
nigh incredible. 

Mr. Lindsey, unless I wholly misapprehend him, 
ascribes the invention of the doctrine to the Coun- 
cil of Nice which sat in the year 325. 

If, says he, the matter is to be put to tlie vote as 
it were, it is absolutely necessary, that the less learned 
should be told, what upon inquiry will be found 



UNDENIABLY TRUE : that The Fathers of the three 
first centuries f and consequently all Christian People 
for upward of three hundred years after Christ till 

the Council of Nice, were generally Unitarians *. 

* Lindsey's Apol. p. 23, 24. I have said : that Mr. Lindsey, 
unless I wholly misapprehend Atm, ascribes the invention of the 
doctrine of the Trinity to the Council of Nice. This saving 
clause I have thought it necessary to introduce: becausey in 
truth, Mr. Lindsey's phraseology is not a little uncommon. 

He tells us : that all Antemcene Christians were gekerallt 

Now, though the word generally imports only a high 
degree of partictdarity,* yet since the word all decidedly sets 
forth universality, Mr. Lindsey, I suppose, must mean to assert 
the universal prevalence of Unitarianism anterior to die 
Council of Nice; ascribing to that celebrated Assembly ihtf 
first invention of a hitherto entirely unknown doctrine, the 
doctrine, namely, of the Trinity. 

These early Unitarians, who comprehended all Christian 
People for upward of three hundred years afler Christ till the 
Council of Nice, are defined by Mr. Lindsey to have been, 
what are now called either Arians or Socinians : that is, suck 
as held our Saviour Christ to derive life and being and all his 
powers from God, though with different sentiments concerning 
the date of his original dignity and nature. Ibid. p. 24. 

I. That Mr. Lindsey had himself ever perused the Anta- 
nicene Fathers, I am unwilling, for the sake of his own credit, 
to believe. He rather seems, at second hand, to have hastily 
caught up his opinion from the loose and ambiguously deceptive 
statement of Faustus Socinus : a statement, however, which 
that writer found it necessary afterward, in its antitrinitarian 
sense, to retract. 

Cognitio ista, says he, sine ulla conlroversia, usque ad tempora 
Concilii Nicceni, et aliquanto post, inter eos qui Christum proji^ 


This theory of Mr. Lindsey is, with good reason, 
by no means satisfiEU^tory to the anqnymous Bar^ 


ieboMimrf esse nam demii. Per iaium emm iiimd ietmpuif mi e* 
o wiii w w , qm twne txHUenad, seripiis Gqmet, ilU mmms verms Dems, 
fiewi pasmm tacra tesimoma pnetUeaiUt wku PaUr Jesu CkritU 
td credUue. Faust* Socio. Epist. ad Radec* iL Oper« toL i« 
p. Z75. 

1. Nowy if, in cbia passage, Sodnos meant only to say ; that, 
Aceardmg to the AnUmceme Doctor t, the Father aUme po $ $ ei $ e M 
the prerogaiive of being Ain-oOeoc or God of himself while the Som^ 
though comsmbstamiial with the Father and therefore physiealiy 
smd eternally very Godf is still derieatively Oeot U Otoi God 
from God : be certainly spoke the truth. But, in that case, as 
his statement will be wholly useless to the cause of modern 
Antitrinitarianism, so it will exhibit the Antenieeoe Doctors as 
saying only what the Catholic Church has ineariaUy said in 

2« On the other hand, if Sodnus meant to intimate ; that. By 
the AnUmeene Doctors^ the Father mas always accounted God 
alome BxcLOsnrELT of the Son who himself was deemed by them 
a mere ereatmre^ the matter so boldly asserted by Mr« Lindsey 
to be undeniably true : he assuredly, in that case, propounded 
a gross and direct frlsehood ; as any person may satisfy himself 
by the very simple operation of perusing those same Antenicene 
Doctors, or (if that be thought too great a labour for modem 
theological industry) by the easier task of merely reading Dt, 
Barton's Testiwumies of the Antenicene Fathers to the divinity of 
Christy in winch most useful Work he will find the precise 
onginal words of those early writers fiuthfully giren in the 

3. Accordingly, as Mr. Lindsey (who professes to teach the 
learned) ought to have known and remarked, Socinus 
afterward confessed : that. From about the very commencement 


Hence^ instead of ascribing the invention of the 
doctrine to the Council of Nice, instead of pro* 

of the Church of Christ down to his own times^ an mmtmerable 
host of pious and learned men, some of wham had seated tkek 
finth with their bloody uniformly maintained (wliat SocinUB him* 
self is pleased to call a most grievous error), that Christ is thai 
one Ood who created all things, or at least that Christ fww tt- 
gottenfrom the proper substance of the Deity, 

Ab ipso ferme nascentis Ecclesuje Christi initio usque ad nos' 
tra tempora, tot viros non minus pietate quam doctrina cUmssif 
mos, tot ipsius Christi sanctissimos martyres, adeo ut mUius sii 
numerus, eum alioqui gravissimum errorem seeuios fiusse ; quod 
Christus sit unus ille Deus qui omnia ereavit, out eerie ex UUus 
propria substantia genitus, Faust. Socin. Epist. ad Radec. iii* 
Oper. vol. i. p. 891. Vide Bull. Defens. Fid. Nic. Prooem. §4. 

II. For bis ttndeniable truth, it is not impossible, that Mr* 
Lindsey may also bave been indebted to Dionysius PetaThn 
and Cardinal Perron : who, as I bave already observed, hstwt 
tbougbt fit, for certain very intelligible reasons of tbeir own, to 
start the present paradox ; though Petavius subsequently re- 
tracted. See above, book ii. chap. 1. § i. 8. note. I think 
this the more probable, because, by some recent AntitrinitariaB 
writers, I have seen Petavius adduced as an authority. 

1. With respect to Cardinal Perron, that ecclesiastic, in his 
Reply to King James, asserts generally, respecting the Ante* 
nicene Fathers, that the Arians would gladly be tried by them. 

But neither the adventurous Cardinal, nor his equally adven- 
turous follower Mr. Lindsey, seems to have been aware ; that 
such a trial was once actually proposed to the Arians ; and thaty 
by them, it was very judiciously declined. 

The story is somewhat curious : and, as my object through-* 
out the present Work is to build upon facts, I shall briefly 

bjoin it, as given by the two ecclesiastical historians Socrates 

2. Toward 


nouncing the Fathers of the three first centuries 
to have been professed Unitarians^ and instead of 

8. Toward the latter end of the fourth century, the Emperor 
Theodoaiua, wishing to heal the dissentions chiefly produced by 
the Arians, proposed to the Patriarch Nectarius, that a con- 
ference or synod should be held for the purpose of discussing 
the litigated points and of thus finally bringing the matter to an 
amicable settlement. 

Nectariua forthwith consulted Agelius: and Agelius intro- 
duced to him Sicinnius, a shrewd and well-informed Reader of 
his Churchy who recommended that the following plan should 
be adopted. 

Well knowings as the two historians remark, that the old 
dfUenicene Writers unanimously taught the coetemity of the Son 
with tk€ Father and therefore could never assert that the existence 
qfike San had a commencement^ Sicinnius proposed, that, in- 
stead of entering into any wearisome and interminable disputa- 
tion, they should simply ask the Arians, together with the 
kindred Eunomians and Macedonians; whether they would 
consent to he tried by those ancient Antenicene Writers mho 
ftomrished before the eruption of the then prevalent dissentions^ 
and whether they would finally abide by their words in deciding 
the matters litig€Ued ? 

His advice was followed : and, in the presence of the Em- 
peror, the question was formally propounded. 

The Arians, however, notwithstanding (as Mr. Lindsey 
teaches us for an undeniable truth) they had all the Antenicene 
Fathers on their own side, and notwithstanding (as Cardinal 
Perron gravely assures us in verbo sacerdotis) they would gladly 
be tried by these same Antenicene Fathers ; when the offer of 
such a trial was &irly and openly made to them, somewhat un- 
accountably, on the historical principles of Mr. Lindsey and the 
Cardinal, declined its acceptance. 

Such being the case, the Emperor, finding that they relied on 



declaring that upon inquiry the whole of this will 
be found undeniably true : the Barrister assures 
us^ that Tertullian and his learned contemporaries^ 
who flourished about the latter end of the second 
century and the beginning of the third, were in no 
wise Unitarians, as Mr. Lindsey had too hastily 
asserted ; but, on the contrary, he determines it 
to be AN INDISPUTABLE FACT, that thcsc erroueously 
supposed Unitarians were the precise persons, who 
endeavoured to introduce into the hitherto strictly 
unitarian Church the doctrine of a Trinity in the 

According, therefore, to the more matured in- 
quiry of the Barrister, Mr. Lindsey's undeniable 
UNITARIANS actually turn out to have been the iden^ 
tical mischievous individuals, who first excoriated 
and who first attempted to introduce the hitherto un- 
known and unJieard of doctrine of tlie Trinity ^ 

The speculation of the Barrister, I believe, did 
not see the light until after the death of Dr. 
Priestley. From the nature of his oztm theory, 
however, it is clear: that the historian neither 

their own bare private opinions and that they refused to abide 
by the decision of primitive antiquity, reasonably enough 
adopted the Creed of the Consubstantialists : inasmuch as tAejf 
alone^ confident in the evangelical soundness and the apostolical 
priority of their doctrinal system, were willing to abide the trial 
and to stand or fall by the test proposed. See Socrat. Hist* 
Ecdes. lib. v. c. 10. Sozomen. Hist. Ecclcs. lib. vii. c. 12. 
>^ Letters by another Barrist. p. 105. 


would, nor could, have corroborated it^ by the 
sanction of his laudatory approbation. 

So &T from ascribing the invention and intro- 
duction of the doctrine of the Trinity either to 
the Nicene Fathers or to TertulUan and his learned 
contemporaries ; Dr. Priestley inclines to seek its 
commencement at a t/et earlier period, than that 
which has been selected, either by Mr. Lindsey, or 
by the Barrister. 

In pursuance of this plan, he is willing mainly 
to assign its discovery, together with the discovery 
of the closely connected tenet of Christ's divinity, 
to the philosophical ingenuity of the converted 
Platonist Justin, who was received into the Church 
about the year 130. 

Mr. Lindsey propounded his theory, as a matter 
UNDENIABLY TRUE ; and the Barrister lays down his 
speculation, as an indisputable fact: but the more 
modest statement of Dr. Priestley's hypothesis, 
as if he himself was not perfectly satisfied in re- 
gard to its solidity, is marked by a considerable 
degree of hesitation. It lies scattered, somewhat 
widely, in various parts of his controversial and 
theological compositions: but, so far as I can catch 
and understand its purport, we may view it, as 
setting forth the five following distinct propo- 

Justin Martyr first introduced into tlie Church 
the hitherto unknown doctiines of Christ* s preexist" 
ence and divinity. Ireneus, who was partially his 


contemporary, readily caught up the novel fancy. 
And others, who for whatever reason were already 
predisposed to act the same part, readily foUowed 
their evil example. 

But, though Justin first introduced these specu^ 
lotions into the Church, he did not, in absolute strict* 
ness of speech, invent them. Having been a Pla* 
tonist anterior to his conversion, he learned the sum 
and substance of them in the Schools of his favourite 
Heathen Philosophy. And, finding the doctrine of 
the Word of God ready formed to his hands in the 
Works of the platonising Jew Philo^ it was small 
wonder, that he eagerly caught at it, and that thence 
with a personal application to Jesus of Nazareth he 
introduced it into t/ie Christian System. 

The unscriptural novelty^ thus introduced, met 
with considerable opposition. For the generality of 
believers, who lived in the age of Justin, maintained 
the bare humanity of Christ. Accordingly, his lan- 
guage has all the air of an apology : and it seems 
evidently to proceed from a man, who was not very 
confident of his opinion, and who was aware that he 
had not the sanction of the majority. 

Such being the case, roe may easily understand, 

why he treats his antitrinitarian contemporaries with 

so much civility. For, in his time, they were very 

far from being reckoned heretics ; though, by Ireneus, 

they were afterwards pronounced to be so. 

On the same principle, we may also understand: 
why, in case his novel speculations should be found 


untenable, he so carefully provides for himself the 
respectaJnliiy of a decent retreat. He speaks of Ms 
opinion, as being, in fact, a doubtful one: and, thence, 
he by no means sets it down, as a necessary article of 
Christian Faith. 

These five several propositions, unless I wholly 
and very unintentionally misapprehend the pur- 
port of his language, it is the object of Dr. Priest- 
ley's statement to advance and to maintain \ 

I shall successively consider them, if not in the 
precise order wherein they have been here enume- 

* See Hist, of Corrupt, parti, sect i. Works, vol. v. p. 21, 22. 
sect. 2. p. 29, SO. sect. 3. p. 37. Letters to Bp. Horsley part i. 
lett. 6. Works toI. xviii. p. 90. Hist of Early Opin. book ii. 
chap. 2. sect. 2. book iii. chap. 14. Works, vol. vi. p. 208, 

In extracting the above five propositions for the more com- 
modious discussion of Dr. Priestley's theory, I have studied to 
express them as nearly as possible in his own precise words. 

It may not be improper to remark, that the wild notion ad- 
vocated by Dr. Priestley, respecting the alleged platonising 
innovations of Justin Martyr, had already been started, long 
before the birth of the rapid historian, by Daniel Zuicker in his 
Irenicum Irenicorum. 

StatuMt Justinum fuisse, qui primus dogma, de Ftlii prae»- 
isteniia ante conditum mundum, et de creatione mundi per ipsum, 
e PlaUmis Schola m Ecclesias Christianas introduxerii. Bull. 
Defens. Fid. Nic. sect. i. cap. 2. § 5. Vide etiam Bull. Introd. 
ad Primit. et Apostol. Trad. § 1 — 3. 

Bishop Bull justly calls this totally unsupported whim of 
Zuicker, which has since been revived as a grave matter of 
History by Dr. Priestley, absurdissimam suam sententiam. Ibid. 


rated^ yet in the order which for the purpose of 
eliciting the truth I deem most convenient. 

I. According to Dr. Priestley, When the novel 
doctrines of Chris fs pre-existence and divinity were 
first introduced by Jtistin Martyr ^ they met with 
much opposition : for most of Ms contemporaries 
held the bare humanity of our Lord. Hence his 
language has all the air of an apology: and it seems 
evidently to proceed from a man, who was not very 
confident of his opinion, and who was aware that 
he had not the sanction of the majority. 

1. This notion of the historian is buUt upon 
the following translation of a passage in Justin's 
Dialogue with Trypho. 

For there are some of our race, who acknowledge 
him to be Christ, but who hold that he was a man 
bom like other men. Neither do i'agree with the 


TO MY OPINION : because we are commanded, by Christ 
himself, not to obey the teachings of men, but w/iat 
was taught by the holy prophets. 

To the translation, thus proposed for our ac- 
ceptance. Dr. Priestley appends the following re- 

The phrase, neither do i agree with the ma- 
jority OF christians who may have objected to 
MY OPINION, which is nearly the most literal render^ 
ing of the passage (though I would not be under- 
stood to lay much stress on that circumstatice), will 
be construed to mean, that the majority 

CHAP. VI.)] OF TRIXITAftLiyiSlf . Ill 

actually did make ike abfediom, or thai Jmstim 
pected tJtey might make it '. 

With respect to the leading clause in thepoange 
now before us, its preseai translation, winch b 
offered by Dr. Priestley and which he pronoonoes 
to be nearly iU mast literal remlerimg, indisputably 
(as I am quite wiDing to admit) estaUidies the 
point, which it has been adduced for the purpose 
of establishing. 

Neither, says Justm, in Dr. Priestlejr's nearly 
most literal version of his words : Neither do I 
agree wkh the mofority of Christians, who may have 
objected to my opinion. 

Now the opinion, here referred to as maintained 
by Justin, was the doctrine of Christ's preexistence 
and divinity : and, in this opinion, according to Dr. 
Priestley's translation, he fairly confesses himself 
to disagree with the great majority of Christians. 

Since, then, Justin maintained the doctrine of 
Christ*8 preexistence and divinity ; and since, by 
his own confession in nearly the most literal ren- 
dering of his words, the great m^ority of Christ- 
ians, on this point, disagreed with him in opinion : 
it will inevitably follow, as Dr. Priestley from such 
premises with much justice concluded ; that The 
doctrine of Chrisfs preexistence and divinity was, in 
the time of Justin, or only about forty years after the 

* Hist, of Early Ophi. book iii. chap. 14. Works, toI. vL 
p. 495. 


death of St. John, r^ected, under the aspect of an 
audacious novelty, by the great majority of christian 
believers : 

Thus finally^ however Dr. Priestley may ha?e 
failed in establishing his point, so far as the times 
of Athanasius and Origen and Tertullian are con- 
cerned : thus finally^ provided only we adopt the 
nearly literal translation which he recommends 
to our acceptance^ he has completely established 
his pointj in regard to the much earlier, and there- 
fore much more important, age of Justin. 

Hence the result of the whole inquiry is : tha^ 
About some forty years after the death of St. John, 
though Justin zoos attempting to corrupt the sound 
primitive doctrine received from the Apostles ; yet 


fessedly, maintained the genuine original system rf 
humanitarian Antitrinitariamsm. 

So much having been achieved by what the 
historian pronounces to be nearly the most literal 
rendering of the passage, we may reasonably won- 
der, why he would not be understood to lay much 
stress on that circumstance. The whole strength 
of the demonstration obviously rests upon the 
strict propriety of the version : and the nearly per^ 
feet literalness of that version is the very matter, 
which in argument constitutes its peculiar value 
and cogency. Yet, with apparently superfluous 
prodigality of fairness, Dr. Priestley would not be 
understood to lay much stress upon that circumstance. 


2. At the first point of view, all this seems very 
extraordinary : but, by a mere inspection of the 
greek original, our astonishment will speedily be 

Dr. Priestley, no doubt, had some small mis- 
givings as to the reception of his nearly most 
Uteral translation : and hence, just as if the fallacy 
could escape detection, he would not be understood 
to lay much stress upon it. The truth is : no two 
clauses can be more unlike, than Justin's original 
Greek, and Dr. Priestley's nearly most literal trans- 
lation into English. For, while the translation 
makes the great majority of Christians to disagree 
with Justin, the original Greek makes that same 
majority to agree with him. 

But let us hear the venerable Martyr, in what, 
unless I altogether mistake, will be found a strictly 
accurate version of the entire passage. 

For there are some, O my friends, I went on to 
say, of our race, who confess him indeed to he Christ, 
but who declare him to be only a man bom from 
men. Wrrn whom i agree not : neither would i 


SAY SO : inasmuch as, by Christ himself, we are com- 
manded to obey, not mere human instructions, but 
those which have been propounded through the blessed 
prophets and which have been taught through himself^. 

* Ka£ yap tiai tiviq^ & ^/Xoc, tXiyov^liiro rov fj/ieripov yivovQ, 
VOL. II. 1 


3. Thus, in a faithful translation, runs the en- 
tire passage, of which, to suit his own purposes, 

6fjLo\oyovvT£Q ahr^v Xpitrrov cTvai, dvOpiairoy ie e{ drdp^twmr yc- 
vofuvoy diro<l>aiv6fieyoi' olg oh (nfyriBefiai* oh^ hy irXelflrroCy ra^ 
rd fioi ^o^dffayTBs, eiirouy' eKeilil ohx dvdpiairdotc SiSdyfiaai cf 
KeXevafieBa vir* ahrov rov Xpitrrov wEiO^ffBatf dXXa toIq ita rAr 
fiaKopiiay irpot^rjT&y Krjpv\6ciat Kal di ahrov Si^a')(6iiin. JttStilL 
Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 207. 

I. In the leading clause of this passage, Justin's Greek, Olc 
oh truyrlBcfiai' ohS* hy irXctorot, rahrd fwi So^dtrayreSf eiirouy f 
is by Dr. Priestley translated; Neither do I agree with the 
majority of Christians who may have objected to my opinion : 
and this he gravely pronounces to be nearly the most literal 
rendering of the passage ! 

1. The old latin translation runs: Quibus non asseniior; 
neque id sane multi, qui in eadem mecum sententia sunt, 

2. This translation, with merely a slight phraseological 
variation, has been followed by Bishop Bull: Q^ibus ego 
minimi assentior; neque san^ plerique^ eadem mecum sen- 
tie ntes, illud dixerint, 

3. But, by the learned Benedictine Editors, the clause, so 
grievously tormented by Dr. Priestley, is rendered, as doubt- 
less it ought to be rendered, in manner following : Quibus ego 
non assentior, nee assentirer, etiamsi maxima pars, quje mecum 
coNSENTiT, idem diceret, 

4. From Justin's own Greek, however, all interpreters, 
save Dr. Priestley, clearly saw: that the great majority of 
believers, or, in other words, the great body of the Catholic 
Church, AGREED, not disagreed, with Justin, as to his doctrine 
respecting the nature of Christ. On this point, as any one may 
perceive, Justin is full and express : xXccoroi, rahrd /jloi io^d* 

II. Tbou^ it may be of no particular importance to my 


the leading clause has been so grossly perverted 
by Dr. Priestley. 

And now, when Justin is permitted to speak for 
himself, where is the historian's proof: either that 
the nuffority of then existent Christians actually ob- 
jected to the opinion of Justin^ or that Justin sus- 
pected they might object ? 

Truly, it exists not. Instead of any confession 
on the part of Justin, that the great majority of his 
christian contemporaries objected to his opinion, he 

main point, as occurring not in the leading clause of the pas- 
sage, I think it right to notice a valoahle conjectural emendation 
of Bishop Bull. 

From Justin's use of the phrase, roic dwo rod ycnwc YMON, 
those of YOVE, race, when, in the very passage which immediately 
precedes the citation now before us, he addresses himself to 
Trypho and his Jewish companions : it is contended, by Bishop 
Bull, that, in the present citation, instead of rov fifAmpov yivovc 
our race, we ought to read rov vfuripov yirovc your race* 

In this emendation I agree with the learned Prelate. 

1. The original word yivoi, here translated race, means, not 
a mingled body of men collected out of all nations such as that 
which composed the Christian Church, but a single race or a 
single nation such as that of the Jews to which Tr3rpho and his 
associates belonged. As Justin, then, in the immediately previous 
context, talks to Trypho about those who are of touu race : so, 
in the present citation, he says to him and to his hebrew friends, 
not There are some of ovu, race, but There are some of yove, race. 

2. The expression toue race, happily restored for the ex- 
pression ouu race, refers to the sect of the Ebionites : who, in 
extraction, were Hebrews ; and who, in doctrine, were Humani- 
tarians. Thus, self-approved, both by context and grammar 
and naked matter of fact, stands the proposed emendation. 



declares : that^ as he did not agree with some few 
individuals, meaning doubtless the judaising Ebioo- 
ites, who asserted the Christ to be only a man 
bom of men ; so neither would he agree with them, 
even if, by some strange revolutionof sentiment^ the 
great majority, who then however held the very same 
doctrine as himself, should at length, most miex- 
pectedly and most unaccountably, come to say so. 

Such is the declaration of Justin : and with it 
exactly tallies the distinct statement, which, in his 
first public Apology, he openly makes on behalf 
of his collective brethren. 

Evidently without the least fear of possible con- 
tradiction, he tells us : that even the most illite- 
rate Christians who had been received into the 
Church by baptism, even those who could neither 
read nor write, were familiarly acquainted with the 
doctrine of the Father and the demiurgic Word 
incarnate and the prophetic Spirit who moved 
upon the waters at the time of the creation ; famili- 
arly acquainted, in short, with that doctrine of a 
Trinity in the Godhead, of which, he thinks, some 
traces might be found in the imitative plagiarisms 
of the Platonists ; the ancient hebrew Scriptures 
being the real source, he alleges, whence they stole 
all their knowledge on the subject '• 

I "1 

'Iva Be Kal Trapa twv fifuripwy iiiaaKoXiav (Xiyofuy ii ro¥ 
Aoyov Tov hd Tuy irpo^i}r(Jy) Xafioyra rov UXdnava fxadtfrk r6 
f lir£7v, vXriv Afiop<^y oZaav ffTpiyj/ayra tov Qeoy, xdafwy Trot^mu. 
— *'Ckar€ A6y^ Ocov, €K rwy wroKeifiiyuty koX TrpoSriXwOiyriay iid 


4. The historian's pretended proof having thus 
vanished^ Justin's £Etncied apology for an opinion, 
contrary to the general opinion, of course vanishes 

Justin is making no apology for his sentiments : 
neither is Trypho urging against him (what we 
may be sure he would have done, if with truth he 
coM have done) his confessedly new-£u)gled dis* 
crepance from the whole Catholic Church. On the 
contrary, still in exact conformity with his express 
statement that even the most illiterate Christian 
wa^ famiUarly acquainted with the doctrine of the 
Trinity, if Dr. Priestley would only have read 
with ordinary attention the very next sentence to 

M^Hrit^f ytytvi^odai, rov vavra Kdirfwrf koI nXAr^y, koI oi ravra 
Xiyorrett koI lifuigf ifiaSofuy, — 

Kal TO iy rf irapd JlXdrwyi Tifialf if^vaioXoyovfuyoy irepi rov 
Yiow row QeoVf &re Xcyc*, *E\laaey ahroy iy Tf irayrl, irapd Mui- 
9CWC \afiify hfuUtoQ tlney, — Xiaafia voiiffaCf rriy fierd toy xp<tf- 
roy Qeoy ^vyafiiy Kt\iaaQai ky rf irayrX fire. Kal to tliciiy 
tAroy rpiroVf itreiirj iwdyta tQv vcdrtay dyiyyta vro "iliaaitog ei- 
p^jUyoy iwu^ptaOai to tov Geov Ilvcv/ia. /^wipay fiiy ydp \iiit' 
pay Tf Tftpd Qtov A6yff oy KiyJiaaQai ly Tf warrl c^v^i Zictaat' 
r^y ^£ TplTTiVf ry \tydiyTi ewu^ipiaBai Tf vcari llyevfiaTif £c- 
w£ty' Td it Tplra w€pl Toy TplToy.^^ 

Oh Td aWd oly fifuiQ 6XXoig ^^diofiey' oXX* oi wdyTig ra 
ilfiiTtpa fUfiovfuyot Xlyovin. Hap' ijfiiy oly €<m TavTa dxovaai 
Kol fioBeiy irapd Ttiy oh^i tovq x^P^^^^P**^ ^^^ trroixtiiay iirur* 
TafUy^y^ liitrwy ftiy koI (iapfiapwy to ^Biyfiaf (ro^y ht kqI 
wiOTvy Toy yovv oyTw, koX irripHy Kal xripwy TivQy rdq oi//eic* 
i#C flvwvat, oh ao<^if, dvBp^airtiif, ravra yiyoyiyai^ dKKd Ivvafifi 
Ocov \iytaBat, Justin. Apol. i. Oper. p. 72, 73. 


the passage which he has so strangely perverted : 
he would have found a direct confirmation of 
Justin's assertion^ that the great majority of Christ^ 
iam held the same opinions mth himself. For he 
would have found Trypho, strong in his Jewish 
prejudices^ objecting: that chrishans collbctivelt 
said the self-same things, that justin iNDivmuALLT 
said, respecting the nature of the divine Redeemer. 
Trypho replied : Those, who say, that Jesus was 
bom a mere man, and that by election he was anoint* 
ed, and that he became the Christ, seem to me to 
speak more credibly than you who say those things 
that THOU sayest \ 

' Kat 6 Tpvijxay, *Efioi fiiy ^oKovviVf itwEVf oi Xiyovrec cik- 
Bpwiroy yeyorirai avroy, Kai Kar* iKXoy^y Kej(pladai^ ical Xpcoroy 
yey oyiyaif 7riOayu>T€poy YMON Xiyity r^y ravra Ainp ^Hc2 Xe- 
yoynay. Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 207. 

This passage was certainly read by Dr. Priestley, but not 
read by him with ordinary attention. The former particular 
appears, from the fact o£ his having cited it : the latter, from 
the fact of his having translated it. In the hands of Dr. 
Priestley, all attestation to the circumstance of Christians at 
large (expressed by the emphatic plural word v/xwi^, here 
plainly equivalent to You Christians J saying those identical 
things that Justin said, totally vanishes. The following is hit 
version of the place. 

They, who think that Jesus was a man, and, being chosen oj 
God, was anointed Christ, appear to me to advance a more pro^ 
bable opinion than yours. Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 1. 
Works, vol. v. p. 22. 

To advance a more probable opinion than yours ; a mode of 
speaking, which would obviously lead a reader, who had not 


In this passage^ the plural tou^ as directly con- 
tradistinguished from the individualising thou^ is 
plainly equivalent to you christians. Trypho^ 
consequently^ in full accordance with Justin's im- 
mediately preceding avowal that the most held the 
very same opinions with himself, remarks : that the 


things, respecting the nature of Christ, that justin 
HIMSELF said ; but that he deemed the scheme of the 
kumanitarianising indimduals, with whom Justin and 
the majority could not agree, far more credible than 
that of the Church Catholic. 

In truths if Justin apologised at all^ he must 
have apologised. Dr. Priestley himself being judge, 
because his opinion was a novelty, and because no- 
toriously hut few had embraced it. Yet Justin de- 
clares, that THE MOST or THE MAJORITY ofthoSC who 

bore the name of Christians thought as he did : and 
Trypho, in his immediate reply, confirms the truth 
of his declaration, while he strongly objects to the 
abstract incredibility of t/ie doctrine. 

The entire passage, in short, with its immedi- 
ately consecutive context, indisputably establishes 
a position the very opposite to that, which, on its 
authority. Dr. Priestley wished to establish. For 

the original Ghreek before him, to conclude^ that Trypho was 
speaking only of the mere individtuil opinion of Justin : To 
advance a more probable opinion than yours is Dr. Priestley's 
proposed version of Justin's friBaywrepoy YMON \iytir rStv 
ravra airep ^Hc2 \ty6vriav' 



it clearly demonstrates : that the great majority 
oj those who bore tfie Christian name, or, in other 
words, the entire catholic church as contradis- 
tinguished from those innovators who had separated 
themselves from her communion, held the very same 
doctrine respecting the nature of Christ that Justin 
himself held. 

To sum up the whole matter^ the precipitate 
historian has^ most infelicitously^ mistaken a de- 
cided adversary for a trusty ally. 

II. Dr. Priestley further learns, from the phrase- 
ology of Justin : that. In his time, Antitrinitarians, 
who denied the godhead of Christ, were very far 
from being reckoned heretics; though, afterward, 
tliey were pronounced to be such by Ireneus : a cir^- 
cumstance, which at once accounts for Justiris extras 
ordinary civility to his humanitarian contemporaries, 
and evinces the conscious unpopular innovator. 

1. A reader, unacquainted with Dr. Priestley's 
mode of writing history, would doubtless, from this 
statement, naturally conclude: that Justin long 
preceded Ireneus, and that the doctrine of Christ's 
mere humanity was not pronounced heretical until 
many years after the death of Justin. 

Yet, with respect to these two ancient Fathers, 
how does the question of relative or comparative 
chronology stand actually ? 

Justin and Ireneus, as Dr. Priestley himself sub- 
sequently, though not very consistently, observes, 
were, in truth, contemporaries : or, as the his^ 


torian expresses it, they flourished about the same 
TIME \ For Justin was converted to Christianity 

^ Lest may penoo shoqld imagiiie that I am nuarepreaentbg 
Or. Priestley, I rafejoio. in all equity, his own precise words. 

I. They occur in two several places of his History of Cor- 

I. The manner^ in which Juiiin Martyr speaks of those 
VmtarUms who beUeved Christ to he the son of Joseph, is very 

remmrkaUe : and shews^ thai, though they even denied the m»- 
racuUms conception^ they were far from being reckoned heretics 
IN HIS TUCK, as they were by irbneus ajterwakd. Hist, of 
Corrupt, part i. sect. 1. Works, voL v. p. 21. 

9. With this disposition to make his religion appear in the 
most respectable light to the heathens, and having himself pro^ 
fessed the doctrine of Plato, can it be thought extraordinary: 
that Justin eagerly caught at the doctrine of the Logos which 
he found ready formed to his hands in the Works of Philo, and 
thai he introduced it into the Christian System ; that Ireneus, 
who was educated among the philosophers about the same 
TIME, did the same thing ; or that others, who were themselves 
sufficiently predisposed to act the same part, should follow their 
example? Hist, of Corrupt, parti, sect. 2. Works, vol. v. 
p. SO. 

II. It has been truly said; that, for the purpose of preserving 
a decent verisimilitude, the writer of Romance ought to possess 
a good memory: and the celebrated slip of the immortal 
Cervantes has often been adduced in the way of illustration. 
Thememory of Dr. Priestley, who, as an historian, ought not to 
be a romancer, is so treacherous, that it fails him in the course 
of nine octavo pages. 

1. In the first of these two passages, when it is convenient 
for Dr. Priestley to exhibit Humanitarianism, as, at a very 
early period of Ecclesiastical History, not marked with the 
brand of heresy, though subsequently, at a later period, dis- 


shortly after the year 130 ; and he suffered maiv 
tyrdom about the year 163 : while Ireneus is sup* 
posed to have been born in the year 97, and to 
have published his Work against Heresies in the 
year 175. Dr. Priestley's assertion, therefore, 
that, in the time of Justin, the maintainors of 
Christ's mere humanity were. far from being reck- 
oned heretics, but that by Ireneus afterward they 
were distinctly pronounced to be such, may well 
seem not a little paradoxical. If Justin and Ire- 
neus flourished about the same time, which, in mie 
place at least, the historian rightly asserts to have 
been the case ; and if the Ebionites, under the 
precise aspect of assertifig our Lord to have been 

tinctly marked with that brand: then The time of Justin ii 
contradistinguished from The time of Ireneus ; and, with refer- 
ence to The time of Justin, then we are informed, that Thetme 
of Ireneus was afterward. 

ft. But, in the second of these two passages, when it is con- 
venient for Dr. Priestley, to dress up a sort of concurring plot, 
oriental and occidental, to introduce the novel platonic doctrine 
of The godhead of the Word : then The time of Justin and The 
time of Ireneus are happily found to synchronise ; and then 
we learn, that these two insidious Fathers, Justin in the East 
and Ireneus in the West, having been educated among the phi« 
losophers abodt the same time, most harmoniously agreed to 
do the same thing. 

III. Some there are^ objects the Batchelor Carrasco, who 
have taxed the author with want of memory or sincerity. For 
we find, by the story, that the ass was certainly stolen : and ydf 
by and by, we find its owner riding the same ass again^ withoui 
fnvious Ught given us into the matter. 


nothing mare than a mere man, are explicitly pro- 
noanced by Ireneus to be heretics, which the his* 
torian acknowledges to be a clear matter of fact : 
I am at a loss to understand what he can mean 
by the statement ; that These persons were very far 
from being reckoned heretics in the time of justin^ 
as they were by ireneus afterward. The time of 
Justin and the time 6i Ireneus, save that Ireneus 
wrote about some twelve years after the martyr- 
dom of Justin, were in truth identical. Hence 
the necessary result must be, that those, who were 
reckoned heretics in the time of Ireneus, were also 
reckoned heretics in the time of Justin ^ 

* Dr. Priestley's favourite argument is to the following 

The ONLY persons, who, under the specific appellation of 
hereticSf troubled the early Church, were the Gnostics. Now 
the Ebionites were not Gnostics : and yet these very Ebionites 
constantly asserted the mere humanity of our Lord and steadily 
denied his divinity. Therefore persons, who asserted the mere 
hmnaiiity of oar Lord and who denied his divinity, provided 
they did not superadd to this doctrine the special peculiarities 
of Gnosticism, were not in the early Church reckoned heretics. 

L Some very able men, chiefly (so far as I can find) on the 
insufficient testimony of Epiphanius, and certainly in opposition 
to the authority of Augustine and Theodoret and Irendus when 
not gratuitously corrected, have contended : that the Ebionites, 
whom Dr. Priestley claims as exactly symbolising witli the 
modem Humanitarians, were, ailer all, no other than a branch of 
the Gnostics, agreeing with the Cerinthians in their sentiments, 
not only respecting Jesus, but respecting the Christ also. 

' Doubtless, if this opinion could be established. Dr. Priestley 


2. How this plain and obvious conclusion from 
the acknowledged declaration of Ireneus thb con- 

would immediately fall by his own weapon : for, in that casei k 
would be impossible to discover a single early impugner of our 
Lord's divinity or a single early maintainer of the mere hitmaiiit| 
of Jesus, save among the Gnostics ; who are by himself mckooW" 
ledged to have always been denominated heretics, 

II. But, as I must freely confess that I have never yet seen 
the opinion established to my own satisfaction, and as I must own 
that the weight of evidence strikes myself as preponderating in 
the other scale (see above, append, i. numb. 2, sect. 4.) : I shaD 
be content to argue with Dr. Priestley on his own avowed pre- 

1 . In the early Church, he tells us, none, save the Gnostics, 
were reckoned heretics. 

Now, by Irendus, who was bom in the year 97 and who wrote 
in and prior to the year 175, who consequently through aU this 
period with the exception of the last twelve years was the oon« 
temporary of Justin Martyr, who was equally well acquainted 
with the Catholic Church both in the East and in the West, 
and who had received his own theology from the immediate 
disciple of St. John : by Ireneus, thus importantly drcum- 
stanced, the Ebionites are distinctly specified as heretics under 
the precise aspect of their asserting the mere humanity of our 

2. Such being the case, the argument of Dr. Priestley, how- 
ever it be met, is alike invalid. 

(1.) If the Ebionites were, as some have contended, a sub- 
division of the Cerinthian Gnostics : then, by his own confes- 
sion, they must have been counted heretics ; whence it will fol- 
low, that in the early Church not a single impugner of the 
divinity of Jesus can be discovered, to whom the charge of 
heresy did not attach. 

(2.) li^ on die contrary, as we are distinctly informed by 



TEBiPORART OP JUSTIN caii be escaped, I must con* 
fess myself unable to discern. 

In his Dialogue with Trypho, Justin avows his 
dissent from the impugners of Christ's divinity: 
hit, not there treating professedly of the early 
heresies, he does not specifically or in so many 
words happen to call these Humanitarians by the 
name of heretics \ His contemporary Ireneus, on 

Theodoret, the Ebionites agreed with Theodotus and Artemon 
in their opinion respecting the Christy difTering on this precise 
point from the Cerinthians who held that the Christ was a 
celestial Eon and that he descended upon the mere man Jesui 
at the time of his baptism ; and if, consequently, in strict 
accordance with the paraUel testimony of Ireneus and Augus- 
tine, the Ebionites were not a branch of the Gnostics : then, no 
less than on the other supposition, they still must have been 
deemed heretics; because, in matter of fact, we find them 
recorded as such by Ireneus, the contemporary of Justin, and 
therefore a decidedly primitive writer on that very subject. 

3. In short, let us take the matter as we please, whether the 
Ebionites were or were not Gnostics, it will be alike impossible 
ibr Dr. Priestley to find any early asserters of our Lord's mere 
humanityy who were not from the very first pronounced to be 

^ Justin informs us, that he himself wrote a Work against all 
the then existing heresies. 

*'EaT4 a i/uv Kol frvrrayfia Kara UASQN r«v yiyevtifiiyiay 
aipiat^y avvrfrayyiivov* Apol. i. Oper. p. 54. 

The term all may seem to import, that he arranged as 
heretics certain other persons beside avowed and recognised 

This Work lias unfortunately perished ; so that we are unable 
to speak positively : but, since we find his contemporary Ire- 


the contrary, treating professedly of that precise 
subject, unhesitatingly applies the offensive title 
to religionists of this identical description. Hence 
the necessary result is : that. In tlie days of tie 
two contemporaries Justin and Ireneus, impugners of 
Chris fs divinity were, under that specific aspect, coih 
sidered in the light of heretics ^ 

ndus associating, in the common charge of heresy, the Ebionitet 
with the Gnostics and especially with the Cerinthians, because^ 
though they symbolised not with them in all points (non simi- 
liter) respecting the nature of Jems Christy they at least agreed 
with them in asserting the bare humanity of Jestts ; the pre- 
sumption is, that Justin did the same as Irendus, and that he 
uses the term all in reference not only to the various ramifi- 
cations of the one grand heresy of Gnosticism but likewise to 
the distinct heresy of £bionism. 

^ That Irendus pronounces the Ebionites to be heretics on the 
simple broad ground of their asserting the mere humanity of our 
Saviour, is manifest from the following very strong passage ; ia 
which Humanitarianism, strictly as Humanitarianism, is pro- 
nounced to be a deadly error which excludes a person from 
eternal life. 

Qui nud^ tantum hominem eum dicunt ex Joseph generaturo^ 
perse verantes in servitute pristinae inobedientise moriuntur : — 
ignorantes autem eum qui ex Virgine est Emanuel, privantur 
munere ejus, quod est vita aeterna. Iren. adv. haer. lib. iii. 
c. 21. p. 212. 

The declaration of Ireneus will establish the true exposition 
of a passage in the Epistles of Jerome, which, by writers of the 
Antitrinitarian School, has sometimes been adduced for the 
purpose of shewing, that a denial of our Lord's divinity was 
not in early times condemned as a heresy. 

Si hoc verum est, in Cerinthi et Ebionis hseresim delabimur, 
qui, credentes in Christo, propter hoc solum a Patribus ana- 


in. If, however, we may credit Dr. Priestley, 
Justin speaks of his opinion as a doubtful one, and 

Aemitiaari sunt, quod Legis caeremonias Christi ETangelio 
miscuenmt. Hienn. Epist. ad August. Ixxxiz. Oper. torn. iL 
p. 265, 266. Colon. 1616. 

I. Jerome, it is said, liere distinctly states, that the sous 
cause, which produced the condemnation of Ebion, was his 
mingling the ceremonies of the Law with the Gospel of Christ. 
Whence it follows, that, if he had only asserted the mere 
humanity of our Lord, he would not have been condemned as a 

The palpable error of this plausible interpretation is readily 
manifested from the circumstance : that Jerome here associates 
the Humanitarian Ebion with the Gnostic Cerinthus, and that 
his expression propter hoc solum alike relates to both. Hence, 
if the SOLS cause, which produced the condemnation of Ebion, 
was his mingling the ceremonies of the Law with the Gospel of 
Christ : then the same mingling must have been the sole cause, 
which produced the condemnation of Cerinthus. And thus the 
result of the present interpretation will be : that, had Cerinthus 
only been a Grnostic, he would not have been condemned as a 

U. Still it may be asked : What then is it, which Jerome 
does mean? 

1. A reply to this question is no very difficult matter. 
Jerome merely wishes to intimate, that, even if there were 

no other reason than their Judaism, that alone, independently 
of all other existing grounds^ were amply sufficient to justify 
the condemnation of Cerinthus and of Ebion. Whatever else 
they might hold, nothing more than this was necessary to con- 
fict them of heresy. 

2. Such is the plain and necessary import of the passage. 
Jerome esteemed both the Gnosticism of Cerinthus and the 

Homanitarianism of Ebion deadly heresies : for, on these points, 


128 THE APosToucmr \jsocfK n. 

btf no means propounds it as a necessary arliele of 
Christian Faith. Whence, distrusting the soundness 
of that hitlierto unlieard of novelty wlUch he unshed 
to introduce, and conscious that lie had not the sanc' 
tion of the majority along with him, he carefuUy 
provided a decent retreat for himself , in case his new 
speculation should be found untetiable. 

1. The passage, which in Dr. Priestley's hands 
is made to vouch for all these extraordinary cur* 
cumstances, hard as it may be to credit the fact 
after the historian's grave citation of it for his own 
purpose, is merely and simply an instance of that 
very common mode of argumentation, which is 
built upon the acknowledged principles of an 

Justin himself maintains : that The promised 
Messiah of the Hebrews is undoubtedly God, even 
the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. But, as 
Trypho contends that The Christ was to be a mere 
man; Justin is willing to argue with him upon 
his ozon theory : and, even thus, he undertakes to 
prove ; that his Jewish adversary could have no just 
ground to deny the M essiahship of the man Jesus. 

he fidly agreed with Iren^us. But with such specialitfes his 
suhject did not lead him to have any immediate concenu He 
was treating of a heresy common alike to Ebion and to Cerin- 
thus (Cerinthi ct Ebionis haeresim) ; the heresy, namely, of the 
perpetual obligation of the ceremomal Law upon Christians: 
and, on this account alone, to say nothing of any other ground, 
they were rightly anathematised (he remarks) by tlie Fathers. 


And now, Trypho, said I, the propaaiion, that 
JESUS 18 THE CHRIST OF GOD^ Will not becowie nuUand 
void, even if I should be unable to shew: both thai 
He preexisted, inasmuch as he is Grod the Son of 
the Creator of all things; and likewise thai He was, 
through the Viigin, made man. Bui^from the whole 
fMch has been demonstrated, it will still follow: that. 
Whoever in point of nature he may be, this person 
18 THB CHRIST OF GOD. FoT, eceu if I could not de- 
monsiraie, thai He pre-existed, and thai Having- 
flesh according to the counsel of the Father he was 
bom a man of like passions with ourselves : still, in 
this supposed case, you could with justice only say ; 
that I had failed of my purpose. Because, even if 
it should appear that He had been bom a mere hu- 
man being from human beings, and even if it could 
be proved that He was only elected to become the 
Christ : stiU you would not, on that account, he war'- 
ranted in denying, thai this person is the christ '. 

^ 'Hcv furm, J Tpvft^r, tJror, awe inroKhfrai ri TOIOYTON 
EINA; XPIZTON toy GEOY, lav kwociifu fiii cvrt^fiai, uri 
col irpoi¥T^f\tv vloc T€fv xoiifTov ritv o\My QioQ wK, KQjL ycycV- 
inynu &r6p*nroc ^*a r^c rapdirov^ akXa Ik Tavroq dvociucyvih' 
pivtm Sn OrrOS EZTIN O XPI2T02 O TOY GEOY, oaric ow- 
Ttc CTfU* lay a fiil dro^ucyw0f ori rpotrr^^c, ra« ytvrtfi^yfu 
irOpmrfK opounradilc hyiiy trapKa 1%**^* *^^ ^'^^ ^^ Harpoc /3ov- 
Xyr ^nrifuirtyf iv rovrf rirXavrjffBai fit fioyor Xiytir ciKOioy^ 
dXXa fii^ dpyuaOai ari OYTOZ ESTIN O XFISTOZ, car fai- 
inynu iS»c ayQpmro^ if dvQpitxiay yiyyriOiiCt Koi ccXoy^ ytvofiiyoq 
dc TO XptffToy tJyaif drocitxyvrtrau Justin. Dial, cum Tiyph. 
Oper. p. 207. 

VOL. U. K 


2. Such is the clear and forcible argument of 
Justin: an argument, by which, on the.disputa. 
tively allowed principles of his adversary^ he un^ 
dertakes to prove against him ; that, Whatever may 
be the precise nature of the predicted Messiah, at all 
events jesus of nazaeeth is the christ of god. 

And then, immediately afterward, by way of 
illustration, and for the purpose of shewing the 
possibility of An admission of the Messiahship of 
Jesus zaith a denial of his preexistence and divinity : 
he puts down the other passage, so strangely (as 
we have seen) perverted and misapplied by Dr. 

For there are some persons, O my friends, I 
went on to say, of our race, who confess him indeed 
to be the Christ, but who declare him to be merely 
a man bom from men. With whom I agree not : 
neither would I agree ; not even if the most, who 
maintain however the very same doctrine as myse^, 
should say so. 

3. Thus, the avowed object of Justin's argu- 
ment is to establish, on the very principles of his 
adversary himself, the proposition : that jesus of 
tive example, which he employs, is the case of the 

The whole matter, argument and example to- 
gether, will run to the following effect. 

Even to argue with you on your own erroneous 
principles^ O Trypho and ye other accompanying 


Jews, you can have no solid ground for denying 
TUB MEssiAHSHiP OF JESUS. Granting for a moment, 
that I cannot establish the point of his divinity ; 
do I thence, of necessity, give up the point of his 
messiahship f Assuredly not. For some of your 
ovra countrjrmen, who claim to be of our religion, 
acknowledge his messiahship : while yet, like your- 
selves, they contend, that the Christ is a mere man. 
These Ebionites, indeed, as we are wont to call 
them, do not speak the language of the Church 
Catholic : and both I myself, and the great col- 
lective majority who agree with me, deem them 
wholly mistaken in their views. But this does 
not, at all, invalidate my present argument. I dis- 
pute with you, on your own erroneous principles. 
And, even on those principles, false as they are, I 
repeat it, you have no solid ground for denying, as 
a simple abstract truth, the messiahship of jesus. 

4. Than such a mode of reasoning with an 
adversary, nothing, as we all know, is more com- 
mon. Yet, incredible as it may well seem, Dr. 
Priestley claims to learn from it : that Jmtin speaks 
of hi9 own opinion as a doubtful one ; that He allows 
it to he by no means a necessary article of faith; and 
that He carefully provides for himself a decent re^ 
treat, in case he should be unable to establish it. 

These are the matters, which the historical 
sagacity of Dr. Priestley learns from Justin's argu- 
mentum ad hominem. And the account of his re- 
markable discoveries he triumphantly concludes, 



by laying it down^ as an indisputable truth : that 
This is not the language of a man, very cof^dent 
of his opinion, and who had the sanction of the ma- 
jority along with him \ 

IV. But, whatever may have been the reception 
which the doctrine of Christ's divinity met with 
in that early age. Dr. Priestley inclines to believe : 
that Justin and his associates borrowed their idea 
of the new tenet from Plato and Philo. 

Having himself, says the historian, professed the 
doctrine of Plato, can it be thought extraordinary : 
that Justin eagerly caught at the doctrine of the 
LOGOS, which he found ready formed to his hands in 
the Works of Philo, and that he introduced it into 
the Christian System; that Ireneus, who was also 
educated among the philosophers about the same 
time, did the same thing ; or that others, who were 
themselves sufficiently predisposed to act the same 
part, should follow their example ^ ? 

By the friends of Dr. Priestley, this speculation, 
I doubt not, has been deemed highly ingenious 

* Hist of Corrupt, part i. sect. 1. Works, vol. v. p. 22. 
Much the same perversion of this very plain and familiar argu- 
ment of Justin had already been adventured by Episcopius. 
He is answered by Bishop Bull, precisely as I have answered Dr. 
Priestley. Judic. Eccles. Cathol. c. vii. § I — 5. A very 
child might have seen, that Justin's argument is purely an 
argumentum ad hominem, founded on the principles of his 

' Hist* of Corrupt, part i. sect. 2. Works, vol. v. p. 30. 

CHAP, vl]] of trinitarianism. 133 

and even altogether satisfactory. Yet^ after all^ 
the simple question is : Whether tlie alleged fact, 
which it propounds, rests upoti any solid evidence 9 

1. At the banning of the Dialogue with Try- 
pho, Justin relates the singular and almost ro- 
mantic circumstance which finally produced his 
conversion to Christianity. 

As he was walking on the sea-shore, an un- 
known old man, whom he had never seen before 
and whom he never saw again, encountered him, 
and forthwith entered into conversation with him. 
Justin spoke largely of Plato and Pythagoras. In 
reply, the old man, who was a Christian, pro- 
fessed, somewhat unceremoniously, the most hearty 
contempt, both for Plato, and for Pythagoras, and 
for the whole generation of philosophers. No- 
thitig whatsoever, said he, do I care, either for Plato, 
or for Pythagoras, or (plainly to speak my mind) 
for any other person who advances such speculations *. 
In their place, he offered to propound to his com- 
panion that which alone can be deemed solid and 
essential truth. His offer being accepted, he 
strenuously recommended the study of prophecy, 
as setting forth the one God and his Christ : and, 
at the close of his lecture, he added an admirable 
exhortation to prayer for spiritual knowledge and 

* Ovctv IfWif c^iy, fJiiXti nXarwvoc, ovce HvOay6(H)v, oh^e dir- 
Xmc oh^ivoc oX«c Toiavra lo^aiovTog. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. 
p. 172. 


illumination. Above aU things, said the venerable 
stranger^ j9ra^, that the gates of light may he opened 
to you. For these matters will not be understood 
and comprehended, unless God and his Christ shall 
give to any one a right knowledge of them. Here 
they parted: and Justin declares^ that he im- 
mediately felt his whole love excited toward the 
prophets and those men who are the friends of 
Christ. Revolving, says he^ the old maris words 
within me, I found this to be the only sure and 
beneficial philosophy . Thus, and on account of these 
things, became I a philosopher \ 

According, then, to Justin's ottm narrative of his 
conversion, he forsook Platonism,-ki order that he 
might BECOME a Christian : and fhis circumstance 
of his having forsaken it we find to be a matter 
of public notoriety. 

Trifling accidental expressions will often do 
more in determining a point, than the longest and 
most elaborate argument. Of this nature is one 
of those, which are used by Trypho. I view it, 
as proving : not only that Justin, subsequent to 
his conversion, HAD utterly renounced Platonism; 
but likewise that his renunciation of it was a fact 

* AtaXoyt^o^evoc t€ wpog tfJiavToy rove Xoyovc ahrov, raxmiy 
MONHN evpuTKoy fiXotro^iav dv^jfoKfj re Kal (rvfi^poy, Ovrt^ 
^rj Kal ^la ravra <ln\6<ro<l»og cyw. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. 
p. 173, 174. 


// were better for yon, says his Jewish antago^ 
nist^ to he still devoting yourself to the pMlosophy 
pf Plato or of any other nuuter, exercising forti- 
tude and temperance and modesty, than to he de^ 
eeived with lying words, and to be following men 
worth nothing ^ 

The force of the evidence, contributed by this 
passage, rests obviously in the word still. Justin 
had been enamoured of Plato's speculations. He 
was now enamoured no longer. The expression. 
It were better for you to be still devoting yourself 
to the philosophy of Plato, implies : that he was 
well known to have then ceased thus to devote 
himself. ' > 

2. Such is the account, which Justin himself 
gives of the revolution in his own sentiments. 

Yet Dr. Priestley is quite sure : that the learned 
Father is mistaken : for, instead of leaving Pla^ 
tomsm behind him, which he gratuitously describes 
the old man as reprobating in the most contemp* 
tuous terms ; he brought it along mth him, by way 
of improving what he himself styles the only sure 
and beneficial philosophy. 

We have, says the historian, the most direct evi^ 
dence of some of the most distinguished writers 
among the Christians being charmed zvith the doc^ 

1 1 

'AfUivov ^e ijv ^tKoao^eiy ETI tre rify HXjartayog ^ aXXov 
Tov ^iXofTW^io-Vy dffKovyra Kapreplav icai iyKpareiay ical aia^pO'- 
9^riiVt 3 Xdyotc kl,airarrfi^yai ij/ev^co'i, icat dvOp^voic dicoXovOfitrai 
oif^eVoc a{/oic. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 174. 


triTies of Plato: but, especially, Jwtin Martyr. 
Marks of Jwtiris fondness for this philosophy appear 
in many parts of Jus writings: and it is not to be 
wondered at, as he had been addicted to it before he 
came to be a Christian. He says : the notion op 


CHARMED ME. What mischief was done to the 
Christian System by this doctrine of ideas, will pre^ 
sently appear ^ 

Where Dr. Priestley has discovered the many 
parts of Justin's writings, which, after he became 
a Christian, ^/e7/ display his fondness for Platonism, 
I shall not pretend to determine. He may have 
diligently observed, what / have carelessly over- 
looked. One passage, however, from the Dialogue 
with Trjrpho, he adduces in evidence: and, to 
that solitary passage, I must of necessity confine 

The point, to be established, is : Justin's fondness 
for Platonism after he became a Christian ; which 
led to the unhappy result of his largely adulterating 
the Gospel with that philosophy. 

And the testimony, which is to establish this 
point, is a passage wherein he says : the notion of 


Now, even if Justin, subsequent to his con- 

^ Hist, of Early Opin. book ii. chap. 1. Works, vol. vi. 
p. 199. 


version, had been ever so much charmed with the 

platonic notion of incorporeal things and with the 

platonic doctrine of ideas ; which^ according to 

Or. Priestley^ by his introduction of them into the 

Christian System^ did an infinitude of mischief : 

still I see not, how this would be any proof of the 

real ultimate matter in debate ; namely, that Jus- 

tin, from PUUonism, was the first person, who 

brought into Christianity the doctrine of the Divine 

Word and of the Trinity. 

Where^ I ask, from the writings of Justin, is the 
historian's proof of that specific matter ? 

Perhaps it will be said : that, if Justin was 
charmed with the doctrine of ideas, he might be 
equally charmed with another platonic doctrine ; 
and, if he introduced the one into Christianity, we 
cannot think it extraordinary (as Dr. Priestley 
speaks) that he should eagerly catch at the other. 
This inductive reasoning may be very ingenious : 
but, even if its premises were secure, still, I fear, 
it would not be very solid. What, then, shall we 
say, when the premises themselves only afford an 
instance of Dr. Priestley's utter disregard of truth, 
when a controversial turn is to be served ? 

The historian cites a passage from Justin z to 
demonstrate, his fondness for Platonism after his 
conversion, and his consequent ready introduction of 
it into Christianity. 

But he completely suppresses that part of the 
passage, in which Justin states : that his fondness 


Jot Platonism prevailed only before his cotwerrion ; 
and that^ after his conversion ^ he became fully cm^ 
vinced of the stupendous profundity of his former 

As Dr. Priestley has not thought it expedient 
to cite more than half the sentence, and as the 
meaning of Justin will not be distinctly perceived 
unless we have the whole : I shall supply the de- 
ficiency by an additional adduction of the remain^ 
ing half 

Dissatisfied with his previous philosophical in- 
structors, the Stoic and the Peripatetic and the 
Pythagorean, Justin finally attached himself to an 
intelligent Platonist, under whose tuition he made 
a considerable progress '. 

Now, be it carefully observed, Justin, in the 
passage imperfectly cited by Dr. Priestley, is speak- 
ing of his admiration of Platonism, not after he 
became a Christian, but before he became a 
Christian : for he is speaking of this his admiiar 
tion, WHILE he was pursuing his philosophical 
studies with his platonic instructor. And, accord* 
ingly, AFTER he became a Christian, he freely 
confesses his former folly, in having vainly, through 
such means, hoped to attain the professed end of 
the philosophy of Plato. 

The notion of incorporeal things greatly 
delighted me : and the theory of ideas seemed 

' Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 168, 169. 



9hort time, I fancied: that I had become a wise man. 
And, in my sottish folly, I even hoped : that I should 
toon distinctly behold God. For that is the end of 
Plato*s philosophy ^ 

By the expression of distinctly beholding God, 
Justin alludes, I apprehend, to the enthusiasm of 
that mystic quietism : which itself was deduced 
from the writings of Plato ; and which, in the third 
century, the later Platonists of the Alexandrian 
School finally carried to such a length, that they 
claimed to he occasionally united to the Supreme 
God, who sometimes was himself alleged to have 
appeared to them though he has neither form nor 

This was the great boast of Plotinus and Por- 
phyry : the latter of whom gravely tells us ; that 
he himself, the man Porphyry to wit, was once, in 
the sixty-eighth year of his age, thus united ; and 
that he had been the highly privileged witness of 
no less than four such unions in the person of the 
wise Plotinus *. 

' Koc /JL€ ^p€i ai^6ipa 4 Twv dtrbtfiaT^y vdritriif xal fi Beofpia 
rAy l^Ay dvarripcv fwi r^v ippdvriffiy' oXlyov te eyrog XP^^^^ 
ffifiv C(H^Q yeyovivaC raJ, vtto /3Xaicccac, flXTrtfov ahrUa rar- 
d^toQai Tov Qt6v' tovto yhp teXoq ttIq UXaroivoc ^tXoero^tac. 
Dial, cum Trypb. Oper. p. 169. 

• IIoXX^iciC IvayovTi (scil. Plotino) cavrov etc Toy wpwroy ical 
iriiuiya 0€ov toIq ivvolatc, eij>ayr} itceiyoQ 6 fiifTe fwpi^fiv fiiiTt 


That honest inquirer Justin^ however, was, 
through God's grace, reserved for better things 
than such bootless vagaries. Platonism was his 
last pagan speculation : and we hdte see, how he 
speaks of it after he had embraced, what he 
rightly calls, tlie only sure and beneficial phUo- 
sophy. Full of his theory of ideas and his hope 
of distinctly beholding God, through a mysterious 
union with, or an absorption into, the divine 
essence ; he entered into his memorable conversa- 
tion with the aged man upon the sea-shore. 
And the result was : that he soon heartily despised, 
what, BEFORE his conversion, he had, in his ac* 
knowledged sottish folly, admired ^ 

TcXoc ovrf (scil. Plotino) koX trKoro^ ijv, to kywdijvat kcu ireXdwai 
T^ Iwl TrdoTi Oef* f^vj^c oe rerpa*cic ^ov, ote truvr\firiv airrf, 
Tov (TKoirov TovTov. Porphyr. in vit. Plotin. apud Cudw. IntelL 
Syst. book i. chap. 4. p. 549. 

* Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 167 — 174. With t 
whimsical sort of gravity, Dr. Priestley concedes the acknow- 
ledgment of the early christian writers : that They did not adopt 
the principles of Plato quite indiscriminately. 

In our assertion^ says Justin, that All things were produced 
and arranged by God, we shall seem to follow the dogma of 
Plato : and, in our belief that There will be a general conflagra" 
tion, that of the Stoics, Justin. ApoL i. Oper. p. 51. 

The historian's concession, I suppose, is meant to intimate : 
that An acknowledgment of not quite indiscriminate adoption is 
a tacit acknowledgment of partial adoption. 

But, if the preceding passage, as cited by Dr. Priestley, will 


3. But, all this notwithstanding, Justin, accord- 
iDg to Dr. Priestley, received the ready formed 
tenet of the logos from Philo, as Philo had re- 
ceived it from Plato. 

Justin, no doubt, had been a Platonist : and 
Philo the Jew also was confessedly a disciple of 
the same School. Still, after all, since the question 
is purely a question of fact ; and since it may be 
fairly denied, that Dr. Priestley has any right to 
indulge in mere unauthorised conjecture : it seems 
only equitable to hear their oum account of the 
source, whence they severally professed to derive 
their doctrine of the logos. 

(1.) With respect to Philo, from whom, accord- 
ing to Dr. Priestley, Justin borrowed the tenet 
ready formed to his hands, as Philo had previously 
borrowed it from Plato : Philo himself, so far from 

establish the partial PlaUmism of Justin after his conversion 
to Cliristianity, it will equally establish his partial Stoicism. 

Than such a citation, what can be more ridiculously irre- 

Did Justin and the early Fathers, forsooth, learn and adopt 
the divine creation and the final conflagration of the world from 
the philosophy of the Greeks ? 

Were they wholly ignorant, until they had been taught by 
Plato and by Zeno, what apparently they might have learned 
from Moses and from Peter: that God created the world; and 
that Ultimately it will be destroyed by fire ? 

Until controversially instructed by Dr. Priestley, I was not 
aware that Partial coincidence of opinion is a sure proof of 
discriminating adoption or of eclectic mutuation. 


owning any obligation to Plato, builds his doctrine 


known remarkable text in the book of Exodus K 
For^ in his probative interpretation of that text^ 
he identifies the Divine Word with the Angel m 
whom is the name of Jehovah \ 

Now, whether he be right, or whether he be 
wrong, in his opinion, is nothing to the present 
question. We are simply concerned with his own 
account of the derivation of a doctrine. 

The case, then, stands, in manner following. 

Philo teaches, as a theological truth, the tenet 
of THE PERSONAL WORD OF JEHOVAH : and this tenet, 
in point of authoritative origination, he claims to 
found upon a text in the book of Exodus. 

A man, therefore, who attempts to build his 
doctrine upon Scripture, professedly, by the very 
act of such an attempt, makes Scripture its authorv- 
tative source and foundation. 

Probably enough, Philo might wish to identify 

* Exod. xxiii. 20, 21. 

' KaOdirep yap riva iroifivriv, yrjv Koi vB<ap ical dipa koI Tvp, 
Kai otra tv tovtoiq ^vra re aZ koI i^wa, ra fitv dvtirdf rd Be Beia* 
tTi de Koi ovpayov t^vaiVf Koi y/X/ov koI aeXrjyric iripidBovQ, mi 
r^v aXXoiv dariptifv rpoirdQ re av koX yppdaQ ivapfioylovQ* i^ 
TToifJirlv Kal fiatriXevQ 6 9eo£ of yet KaTd hiKriv koX vofwy, wpoanf^ 
adfitvoQ Tov opOov avTov A6yov Trptaroyovov Xtov, oq rilv imfU^ 
Xeiay ttjq cepdc ravrijc dyiXrigf old ri fieydXov paaiXiwQ vitap^ 
\pi Bia^i^Tac Kal yap eiprirai ttov* *l^ov lyuf elfJUj dwoirnXM 
"AyyeXdy fiov etc vpdtrfoirdy trov, tov ^vXa^ai ae ty Tp oBf, PhlL 
Jud. de Agricult. Oper. p. 195. 


the LOGOS of the Platonic School^ with the word 
or voice or angel of Jehovah as mentioned in the 
Old Testament. But still his professed authority, 
for the doctrine itself of the looos^ is Moses, not 

(2.) In a similar manner^ with respect to Justin 
Martyr, that very ancient Father of the Church, 
who himself should best know whence he received 
both the name and the doctrine of the looos^ in- 
stead of deducing them either from Plato or from 
PhUo, avowedly fetches them from the Scriptures 
of the Old Testament. 

I tvill produce to you, says he, another testimony 
TBOM THE SCRIPTURES : that, in the beginning, before 
all creatures, the Deity begat from himself a certain 
rational Power ; which Power is, by the Holy Ghost, 
denominated, sometimes The Glory of the Lord, 
sometimes The Son, sometimes The Wisdom, some^ 
times The Angel, sometimes God, sometimes The 
Lord and the word. At other times, again, he 
styles himself The Chief Captain : a.s when he ap^ 
peared, in a human form, to Joshua the Son of Nun. 
For, both from his ministering to his Father's will, 
and likewise from his being born according to his 
Father^s good pleasure, by all those several names is 
he distinguished \ 

* Maprvpiov 3c Kal aWo vfjilyf i <pl\oif ti^riv, diro TtSv ypa- 
fHv Stinrut, ort dpxrjyf wpo irdvrutv tQv KTiafiaTufy, 6 0£oc yc- 
yirniKe Avya/iiy riva i^ kavrov Xoyiir^v, ririg ical A6ia Kvplov 
inro rov TLrtv/Jiarog rov 'Aylov KoXtirai, trore Se Ytoci ffore, 0€ 


The scriptural testimony, which, agreeably to 
his promise, Justin produces, for the purpose of 
authoritatively demonstrating, that A certain ra- 
tional Power was, from the beginning, begotten oj 
the Father before all creatures, is taken from the 
eighth chapter of the book of Proverbs *. And, ere 
he brings it forward, he, a second time, specifies 
the appellation of the word among those titles ci 
the Son, which he considers to be employed by 
the inspired writers of the Old Testament *. 

Now, here again, as before in the case of Philo, 
the question is : not Whether Justin was right, or 
whetlier Justin was wrong, in his doctrinal system ; 
but, simply. Whence Justin derived his doctrinal 

To have stated to ^, Jewish opponent, that He 
adopted his tenet of the personal word on the 
authority of St. John, and that From the inspired 
exordium of that Apostle's Gospel it was universally 
received as a divine truth in tlie Christian Church : 

0/a, TTore ^e^AT^eXoc, vote Ie 0£oc, itote ce KvptoQ Ka\ AOFOZ* 
Hore ^€ * ApyitrrpcLTfiyov kavTOv Xeyec, kv drdpufirov fiop^j ^- 
vivra rf rov Nav?; ^Irjffov, "E^ctv yap ndyra vpoirovofidf^aBai, 

tK T€ TOV VTtipETEly Tf ITaTplKf ^vXilfJiaTl, Kol EK TOV dwd HOV 

TLarpoQ OcX^o'ct y€y Evfjtrdai, Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. 
p. 221. 

* Prov. viii. 22— -36. 

' MapTvprjoEi ^i fioi 6 Xoyoc Tijg ^oij>laCt avTOQ uv oiroQ 6 
Oeoq dno TOV Ilarpoc rwv oXwv ycvviyOctc, Kai AOFOS, Koik 
Do^ia, Kai AvyafiiQ, Kai Ao^a tov yEvviitravTOQ vvapx^^yy Kal iid 
SoXo/iWFOc i^iivavTOQ ravra. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 221. 



would, in such a dispute, have plainly been quite 
nugatory* Very wisely, therefore, \\e goes further 
back : and resorts to an aut/iorUi/, which Trypho, 
as a Jew, could not disallow. 
■ Hence, if we may believe Justin's own state- 
ment, both the name and the doctrine of the 
PERSONAL WORD, as propounded by St. John with, 
reference to Christ, and as received from him by 
the whole Catholic Church, were, tUtimately, in 
strict theological harmony, deduced, not from 
Plato or from Philo, but from Tlie familiar phrase- 
ology of the Old Testament. 

Justin, like many of the old Fathers, was fond 
of exhibiting Plato and the Greek Philosophers, 
as the plagiarists of Moses and the Prophets* 
Hence, in the logos of the Platonists, he was not 
Unwilling fancifully to discover the scriptural word 


' See below, book li. chap. 8. § iv. Discoveries or distortions 
of a somewhat similar nature, let us call them which we please, 
characterised also the School of the later Platonists : which 
may be viewed, as commencing with Ammonius, himself a Christ- 
iao, about the close of the second century. See Euseb. Hist. 
Eccles. lib. vi. c. 19. 

These operations proceeded so successfully, that Porphyry, 
in the third century, as an explanation of the tenets of his 
master Plato, asserts, even in so many words : that The sub" 
stance of the Godhead advances to three hypostases. 

'I^ov cil ffat^wQ €y Tovroi^f ^XP^ rpiwy v-Koardatiav rijv rov 
Btlov v^iKQilv ohffiayy IffyvplZerai. Porphyr. apud Cyril. 
Alex. oont. Julian, lib. i. p. 34. 


VOL. 11. L 


But^ as for his adopting the plan cXaettud imite* 
ation ascribed to him by Dr. Priestley^ he httme^, 
by a plain consequence, altogether disavowi it 
For, in respect to ultimate derivation, he professes 
to fetch, both the name and the doctrine of the 
PERSONAL WORD, from the sacred books of the 

4. The most extraordinary part of the whole 
matter yet remains to be stated. 

Although, according to Dr. Priestley, the christ- 
ian tenets of the trinity and of the personal 
WORD OF GOD werc certainly, by Justin, borrowed 
from Platonism : yet still, according to the same 
Dr. Priestley, Platonism itself contains nothing 
which at all resembles them. 

Thus have I given, says the historian, the best view 

that I have been able to collect of every thing, that 

can be supposed to constitute the trinity of Plato, 

from his own writings : without finding in them 

Justin chronologically preceded these later Platonists. From 
them, therefore, it cannot be pretended, that he borrowed the 
doctrines of the trinity and the logos. 

Each, in truth, discovered in Plato, what Plato hknself tkeswet 
dreamed of. 

The avowed rational^ of the discovery^ when conducted by 
the Fathers of the Church, was, as I have already intimated : 
that The Pagans had corruptedly borrowed the doctrines of thx 
trinity and the logos /rom Moses and the Prophets. 

But this very humour of fanciful discovery, on the part of 
Justin and others, is alone sufficient to shew : that they could 
not themselves have received those doctrines from Plato. 




remark of Dr. Priestley evidently sur- 
renders the very basis of his favourite argument. 

If Plato were ignorant of a divine trinity of 
PERSONS^ and if he knew nothing of a really per- 
sonal WORD OF GOD : how could Justin have bor^ 
rowed from Plato^ and from his philosophy have 
introduced into Christianity, a system, which Plato 
kimse^, all the while, confessedly had never pro* 
pounded f 

The stream cannot rise higher than the foun- 
tain : and, clearly, Plato could not have taught, 
to Justin, doctrines, of which he himself was 

V. It is, however, a matter of very small im- 
portance, WHERE Justin might have procured his 
novel doctrine. 

* Histi of Early Opin. book i. chap. 6. Works, vol. vi. 
p. 164. 

* A similar unguarded, but fatal, concession occurs also in 
Dr. Priestley's Letters to Bp. Horsley. 

At to the TRiKiTT qf Plato, it was certainly a thing very 
tmlike your Athanarian Doctrine. For it was never imagined : 
that the three component members of that Trinity were, either 
equal to each other, or (strictly speaking) one. 

Here, again, Dr. , Priestley destroys his own foundation. 
Justin could not have borrowed from Plato, what Plato himself^ 
according to the historian, never so much as imagined. j^^^^k 

L 2 m ^ 


Whether he borrowed it from the School of 
Plato, in which, after Dr. Priestley's most dfligent 
researches, it cannot be found ; or whether, with- 
out any extrinsic aid, he was sufficiently ingenious 
to invent it himself : whatever may have been its 
fancied origin, the sole realfy serious part of the 
matter is the grave allegation, on the word of a 
professed historian ; that He first advancbd amii 
INTRODUCED it tuto the hitherto strictly antitrinitarian 
and humanitarian Church Catholic. 

I give Dr. Priestley's own words, carefully se- 
lected from four several places of his two His- 

Justin Martyr was the first, that we can find 
to have advanced the doctrine of the divinity of 
Christ \ 

We find nothing like divinity ascribed to Christ, 
before Justin Martyr *. 

From a careful perusal of the writings of Justin, 
I cannot help thinking : that he was the first, or 
one of the first, who advanced the doctrine of the 
permanent personality of the Logos '. 

Can it be thought extraordinary: that Justin, 
having himself professed the doctrine of Plato, 
eagerly caught at the doctrine of the Logos which 
he found ready formed to his hands in the Works 

* Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 3. Works, vol. v. p. 37. 
' Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 2. Works, vol. v. p. 29. 
' Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 2, Works, vol. v. p. 80. 


of PhilOy and introduced it into the Christian 

^ Against the integrity of the martjrred philoso- 
phical convert ; who yet^ on the preceding hypo-p 
thesis, must actually have laid down his life^ not 
for the Grospel of Christ, but for a speculation 
unaccountably borrowed from Plato who himself 
all the while had never maintained it: this is, 
surely, a grave allegation. And it is the more 
grave : because, instead of making it lightly and 
carelessly. Dr. Priestley professes to build it upon 
a eoreful perusal of the writings of Justin. Well, 
therefore, does it deserve and require a close and 
serious examination. 

1. Now I cannot refrain from thinking it rea- 
sonable : that, on a point so strictly personal, we 
should hear an ancient author's omn statement of 
the rise and progress of his opinions. And, in- 
deed, since Dr. Priestley professes to deduce his 
representation of the matter /row a careful perusal 
of Juitiris tmitings : no one of his admirers can 
fiurly object to my appealing to the same unques- 
tionable authority. 

The historian asserts : that Jtistin introduced, 
tMto the hitherto strictly humanitarian Church, the 
NOVEL doctrine of Christ* s divinity. 

But Justin himself, at least as I read his Greek, 

^ Hitt. of Early Opin. book ii. chap. 2. sect. 2. Works, 
Vol. 11. p. 208. 


declares : that Both he and his cMtemporttmi 
LEARNED that doctrtfie in the Church, while reeew^ 
ing, in order to their baptism, catechumemieal m- 

Consequently, we have his own authority for 
stating : that. Instead of introducing the doctrim 
INTO the Church, he really found it in the Church, 

It may seem strange, that the historian and my- 
self, each from an alleged perusal of the writings 
of Justin, should have arrived at two such dia* 
metrically opposite conclusions. Yet so it cer- 
tainly is. 

With respect to Dr. Priestley, if any single place 
in the whole Works of Justin can be found, which 
authorises his assertion ; that Justin borrowed the 
doctrine of Christ* s divinity from the School of 
Plato, and that Justin was the first who introduced 
that doctrine into the Christian System : let it, by 
all means, be brought forward. 

With respect to myself, as I have been unable 
to discover any such place in any part of the writ- 
ings of that Father, I scruple not openly to state: 
that. In no portion of Ids Works, does Justin give 
the slightest warrant for Dr. Priestley* s perfectly 
gratuitous imputation. 

Should my statement be erroneous, it may, by 
the diligent reader of the martyred philosopher, be 
easily corrected. 

Meanwhile, until that correction shall be ad- 
ministered, I shall QMttOf ^y^^^lf with producing 



the passages, which have led me to adopt an opi- 
nion the very opposite of that which is favoured by 
the historian. 

(1.) Throughout his whole Dialogue with Try- 
pho, Justin NEVER speaks as the hesitating advo- 
cate of a consciously novel speculation first started 
by himtelf. 

On the contrary : he both appears, as pleading 
for the received and well known doctrines of 
the entire Church Catholic; and he is evidently 
viewed, in that light, by his Jewish adversary. 

Had he been starting an unauthorised and 


be sure, would not have &iled to tell him : that he 
was departing from the professed tenets even of 
Us own sect. 

But nothing of the sort can be detected in any 
part of the Dialogue. 

Trypho invariably argues, not against The mere 
imulated ipeculatist Justin, but against The entire 
Church of which he deems Justin as it were the 
accredited representative. 

This circumstance^ to omit numerous other in- 
stances suificiently marked by the very tone of the 
q>eaker, strikingly displays itself in a passage, 
which I have already had occasion to quote, and 
which immediately follows the passages so strangely 
perverted by Dr. Priestley. 

Trypho replied: Those persons, who say, that 
Jesus was bom a mere man, and tliat By election 


he was anointed^ and that He became the Christ, 
seem to me to speak more credibly ^ than you who sag 
the same things that thou sayest ^ 

The asserters of Christ's mere humanity .were 
evidently the Ebtonites, to whom Justin had im- 
mediately before alluded: and the persons,. of 
whom Trypho speaks plurally as agreeing with 
Justin, are indisputably that numerous body which 
Justin had previously mentioned as holding the 
same sentiments with himself; in other words, 
they are The constituent members of the whole 
Catholic Church viewed contradistinctively from 
schismatics and heretics. i 

(2.) Accordingly, Trypho, in an earlier part of 
the Dialogue, unambiguously expresses himself 
as being well aware : that. In combating jusTiN,ik 
was combating the entire collective body of 


It would have been far better for us, says he an- 
grily to Justin, if we had followed the advice of our 
teachers, and had conversed with no one of you K ■ 

The reason assigned is ; Because, in the estif 
mation of a Jew, many blasphemies were spoken: 

* Kal 6 Tpv^wy, 'E^oi fjiey ZoKovtnvj clxcy, oi Xiyovrec dvdp^^ 
iroy yeyoviyai ahroy, xal Kar UXoyify KexpiaOai^ Kal Xptirror 
yeyoyiyai, vidaywrepoy YMON \iyeiy rdy ravra &7rep ^lii^ 
XcycJvrwv. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 207. 

* Kai 6 Tpvifittty tlirey, ^Q, ayOpioirt, KaXoy Jjy TrtioBiyTaq ifudc 
ro7c ^liatTKaXoig yofioBtriiaaai, MIIAENI ES YMftN ofJiiXeir, 
Dial, cum Trypli. Open 


such as, that Jesus was the person xclio talked with 
Moses and Aaron in the pillar of the cloud ; that 
That person became man ; and that He ought to be 
worshipped with divine honours. 

Now, the plural phraseology, adopted by Trypho 
in giving vent to his indignation, no one of you, 
would have been quite nugatory : if he had sup- 
posed ; that he was merely disputing with the in-» 
solated introducer of a then novel tenet, notoriously 
rejected as yet, through the very necessity of 
chronology (for, when Justin conversed with 
Trypho, he had himself been a convert barely six 
years ; in which short time, it was morally impos- 
sible for the zealous neophyte to have effected an 
universal corruption), by the Christian Church at 

Unless it had been a well known fact ; that Tlie 
great body of believers, in every quarter of the 
globe, both then held with Justin, and had always 
from the very first maintained the same doctrine : 
Trypho could never have said to Justin, no one 


Had his opponent, with a few speculative fol- 
lowers only, been then engaged in introducing a 
new doctrine, which differed radically from the 
well known old doctrine of the entire Catholic 
Church : Trypho's language would obviously have 
been ; We had better have followed tlie advice of 
our teachers, and have conversed with no one of you 

154 THE AP06TOL1C1TY \jBO0fL H 

vain innovators, who depart even from the tenets qf 
jfOtiT own communion. 

In truth : Against whom did Trypho's rabbinical 
teachers caution him ? 

Was it against Jtistin and a few innovating specu* 
latists only ? 

Clearly not. Trypho had been cautioned against 
conversing with Christians in general. And the 
distinctly assigned reason of the caution was : that 
He could not fail to hear from them doctrines re- 
specting Jesus of Nazareth, which a Jew wouU 
deem positive blasphemies. 

Agreeably to the tenor of such a caution^ these 
very doctrines which give so much offence to 
Trypho ; the doctrines^ namely^ that Jesus con- 
versed with the old Patriarclis, that Jesus spake to 
Moses from the burning bush declaring Idmself to 
be the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, that 
Jesus was present with Israel in the pillar ofjire, 
that Jesus became man and yet was very God: these 
identical doctrines^ instead of being a new specula- 
tion of t/ie mere individual Justin, actually appear 
in one of the ancient Symbols of the CaihoUc 
Church which has happily been preserved by Ter- 
tullian K 

(3.) Let us, however, finally hear Justin's own 

^ Vari^ visum patriarchis. Symbol, vetust. apud Tertull. de 
pnescript adv. haer. Oper. p. 100. See above, book i. chap. 6. 



explicit declaration, in regard to the quarter, 
whence he and his christian contemporaries alike 
learned those doctrines ; which he is aUeged, 
thirty six years after the death of St. John, and 
barely six years after his own conversion, to have 
so successfully introduced into all the various 
piroTincial branches of Christ's Church Catholic. 


RXKTH FROM HIM (and who^ respecting these things, 
mtmeted both us and the army of the other good 
angels who follow him and who are made like unto 

SHIP AND WE ADORE, honowing them in word and 
tn ttftth ; and, to any person wlio wishes to learn, 
freely imparting, as we ourselves have been 


This declaration occurs in a public Apology : 
wherein Justin, appropriately using the jo/t^ra/ form, 
pleads, in the name and on the behalf of the whole 
collective body of his stiffering brethren, to the reign- 
ing Emperor Antoninus Pius. And, if, with re- 
quisite variation, I may be allowed to borrow the 
words of Dr. Priestley r^ it is not couched in the 
language of a man, who from Plato and from Philo 

* 'AXX* *BMiv6v Ttf KoX Tov Tap' avrov tlov iXOdrra (jcal ^4- 
idf/arra fifAat ravra koI tov Tiav aXKiav itrojiiyiav koX ii/OfUHev^ 
fUpwr dyaOmy dyyiXiay trrpaTov)^ UrevfiiL n to irpofffriKory frt" 
fi6iitOa ad irpomcvvovfityf \6yf Jcal dXrfielg, TifjuSyresy koI wavrl 
PovXofUvf fAaOtiVf wg iitidy^Byifuv^ d^6vkiQ irapah^6rr(g> Justin. 
Aped* i. Oper. p. 45. 



had recently started a very singular novbltt, and 
who well knew that he had not along with him 
the sanction of the majority. 

Wb christians, says he, as the accredited apolo* 
getic annunciator of the leading doctrines main- 
tained by the Catholic Church, and as the &ithfal 
narrator of the mode in which he and his contem- 
poraries had received such doctrines : we christians 


Nor is this any new doctrine and practice, recently 
and unwarrantably introduced among us. To any 
person who wishes to learn our Theological Sys- 
tem, we freely and ungrudgingly impart it, as wb 


^ *Qi eh^dxdfjjieyf As rve ourselves have been taught. So 
speaks Justin, in a public Apology, of himself and of his be- 
lieving contemporaries, with reference to the joint adoration of 
the Father and the Son and the Spirit. As ws have been 

Now by whom were Justin and his believing contemporaries 
taught the doctrine and the adoration of the Father and the Son 
and the Spirit ? By whom were they so convinced of the truth 
and of the propriety both of the tenet and of the practice ; tliat 
they were ready to deliver to any person, who was desirous of 
learning, both the one and the other, even as they themselves 
had been taught ? 

Shall we say, with Dr. Priestley : that Justin and his believ- 
ing contemporaries were thus taught from the writings of Plato 
Itfid of Philo ; and that, having been thus taught, they forthwith 
uUroducedt what they learned, into the Christian System, wliich^ 


Such is the public declaration of Justin : a de- 
claration, which, in the very nature of things, 

tmiericr to sucb introduction, knew nothing of either the doc* 
trine or the practice ? 

Or sbaU we rather say, as that valuable monitor Common 
Sense seems pretty plainly to charge us : that Justin and his 
believing contemporaries were thus taught, within the pale of 
the Catholic Church, by those regular episcopally appointed 
C^tecbists ; whose office it was to prepare the Catechumens for 
their pnblic baptismal profession of, Unrrevu) iiq top Qe6y' T6y 
Ilarcpa, roy Yiov, Koi to "Ay toy 11 ycv/ia, / believe in God: the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ? 

I. Never let the honest christian inquirer forget Justin's 
unequivocal and decisive *Clg eh^dxOrjfiey. 

As, from the very first, the primitive believers were them-' 
ielvet taught, within the pale of the Catholic Church, and by 
her regularly appointed public officers, conjointly to adore the 
Father and the Son and the Spirit : so were they ready to de- 
liver, both the practice and the doctrine involved in the practice, 
to any person who might wish to learn the sincere faith of the 

IL Yet, strange to say, notwithstanding the distinctness of 
Justin's 'Oc i^iMxOrjfiey, Dr. Priestley actually puts down, in 
one of bis Histories, the following statement. 

Whether Justin Martyr was the very first who started the 
Mrfton of the preexistence of Christ and of his superangelic or 
divine nature^ is not certain. But we are unable to trace it 
Amr HioHEE. Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. ft. Works, vol. v. 
p. 29. 

1. Wliat, with Justin's Works open before him, was the his« 
torian unable to trace what he calls the notion of Christ's pre- 
existence and godhead any higher than Justin himself: when 
this very writer, in a public Apology, openly declares; that 
both be and his believing contemporaries had been taught, by 


could never have been made, if Jofitin kUueff, 
having learned from Plato and from Phflo tie 
divinity of the personal Word, were the fibst who 
INTRODUCED it into the Catholic Church; a de- 
claration, therefore, utterly incompatible with Dr. 
Priestley's wild unsupported theory respecting the 
fancied machinations of Justin. 

2. It is a somewhat curious circumstance: that, 
although the historian wishes to exhibit Justin, as 


yet his language evinces a degree of faltermg un- 
certainty, which is not a Uttle remarkable. 

their ecclesiastical predecestorsp the joint adoration of the Soa 
with the Father and the Spirit ; and therefore of course had 
also been taught^ unless we make those ecdesiasticai prede* 
cessors rank venders of idolatry, the doctrine of the proper 
essential divinity of the Son ? 

2. By his plural phraseology, Justin expressly vouches for 
the universal reception of the doctrine, not only by the Christ- 
ians of his own generation, but likewise by the Christians of tha 
generation which preceded him. The doctrine was taught, 
both to him and to his contemporaries, by their ecclesiastical 
predecessors : who themselves, by the very necessity of chrono* 
logy, must have touched the age of St. John and the Apottles. 
Hence, I suppose, if the doctrine was taught, the doctrina 
must have been held, by Justin's predecessors in the Churdi 


3. Yet, though Dr. Priestley is not quite sure, whether 
Justin was the very first who started the doctrine in question : 
^ )\ with his utmost diligence of historical research, he is 

l# trmct it any higher. 


With respect to the precise time when, or the 
PARTICULAR PERSONS BY WHOM, they weve introduced. 
Bays he, there is less certainty to be had. Hiis, 
however, is of no great consequence : it being suf- 
jkAent to shew ; that They came in from some fo- 
reign source, and After the age of the Apostles : 
which accounts for their not noticing the doctrines 
at all K 

(1.) In my views of historical evidence, I am 
constrained altogether to differ from Dr. Priestley. 

So fiur from its being of no great consequence to 
ascertain the precise time when, and the parti* 
cuLAR PERSONS BY WHOM, the doctrincs in question 
were introduced; if indeed, subsequently to the 
age of the Apostles, they were ever introduced 
into a professedly humanitarian Church : it strikes 
me, as being a matter even of vital consequence to 
the cause of modem Antitrinitarianism. 

If, in regard to the nature of Christ, the Apos- 
tles and the earliest Church were decidedly hu- 
manitarian : most certainly, somewhere or other, 


PERSONS BT WHOM, WRS introduced so vast and so 
portentous an innovation as the doctrine of The 
really mere man Chrisfs proper and essential divinity, 
rnnst have been specifically recorded, and there- 
fore might be easily ascertained. 
A trifling ceremony, or even some small cor- 

* Hist, of Early Opm. book L chap. 1. Works, vol. vi. p. 59. 


ruption of a sound doctrine^ mighty no doubt, 
have been introduced^ without attracting the spe- 
cial notice of any contemporary writer. But the 
sudden transition from the bare humanity to the 
proper divinity of Christ (for never let it be for- 
gotten, that, as the doctrine of the Church Catho- 
lic, Justin, again and again, asserts Christ to be 
Jehovah the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of 
Jacob) ; and this transition too (by the hypothesis), 
in the very early age of Justin, or even in an age 
yet prior to that of Justin, when the true doctrine 
of the Apostles must inevitably have been known 
in all the successions of the Catholic Church : 
such a transition is far too extraordinary and too 
marked a circumstance to have occurred without 
comment or observation \ 

The name of each heresiarch, with the pecu- 
liarities of his innovation upon the primitive fieuthj 
has been duly and minutely recorded. 

To imagine, therefore, that the name of the 
daring speculatist, who, in direct opposition to the 
alleged primeval doctrine of Christ's mere humanity, 
first introduced into the Church the doctrine of 
Christ's proper divinity, should never, by any single 
writer, have been distinctly specified and faithfully 
preserved, is to imagine the very wildest incredi- 

Had any such introduction ever really occurred. 

* See above, book i. chap. 10. 



we may be quite sure^ when Ireneus so boldly ap- 
pealed to universality and priority against all the 
existing heresies of the day : that some favourer 
of the ebionitic speculation would have confronted 
him with the precise name and the precise age of 
the adventurous individual^ who, into the ori- 
ginally humanitarian and antitrinitarian Church, 
first introduced, with such wonderful success, 
the novel doctrines of Christ's godhead and the 

The preceding passage I consider, as a virtual, 
though reluctant, confession, on the part of Dr. 
Priestley : that, although he has laboured hard to 
make out a case for Justin Martyr, he found 
himself quite unable to specify, either the pre- 

WHOM, the doctrines of Christ's preexistence and 
divinity were first introduced into the Church 

Hence, the requisition, which Dr. Priestley 
makes upon the faith of the Trinitarian, will stand, 
I apprehend, in manner following. 

Through every age, so far as we can learn from 
existing historical documents, the Catholic Church 
has uniformly maintained : that the doctrines of 
Christ's preexistence and divinity were doctrines, 
taiight by, and handed down from, the Apostles 

Without a shadow of proof. Dr. Priestley as- 




scrts : that those doctrines came into the Churchi 
from some foreign source^ after the age of the 
Apostles. For^ though he wishes to give the credit 
of the matter to Justin Martyr, he reluctantly 
confesses: that he is unable to specify, either 


SONS BY WHOM, they were introduced into the 

Yet would he fain persuade the sturdy Trini- 
tarian, as he seems to have persuaded the more 
facile disciples of his own School : that this palpa- 
ble defect in his evidence is of no great conse- 
quence ; and that his crude unsupported specu- 
lation ought, in absolute defiance of the unbroken 
and unvarying testimony of the Catholic Church 
to a directly contrary effect, to be received as an 
undoubted truth. 

(2.) It is amusing to hear Dr. Priestley with 
much gravity assuring us : that The doctrines came 
in, from some foreign source, and after the age of 
the Apostles ; which accounts for their not no- 
ticing THE doctrines AT ALL. 

With cheaply gratuitous assertions of this kind, 
his Works abound. 

The Apostles, forsooth, notice not the doctrines 
at all ! And, of \\i\% perfectly undoubted fact, which 
of course the very hardiest Trinitarian cannot ven- 
ture to gainsay, the historian gives the rationale, 
by stating : that The doctrines came in, from some 

( HAP. VI.]] 

nF riUMJ \i;i \\I^^1. 


foreign source^ and after the age of the Apostles ! 


Thus^ with matchless felicity^ is the phenome- 
non of one non-existing fact accounted for by the 
phenomenon of another non-existing fact. 

M 2 



As Dr. Priestley contends, that the majority of 
Christians, even in the days of Athanasius and 
Origen and Tertullian, still maintained, in unbroken 
succession, the primitive apostolic faith of humani- 
tarian Antitrinitarianism ; and as he pronounces, 
that the doctrine of Christ's divinity was introduced 
into the Church, either by Justin Martyr, or by 
some yet earlier unrecorded speculatist : so, with 
necessary consistency, he declares, that the primi- 
tive believers, quite up to the age of the Apos- 
tles, inasmuch as they never supposed Christ to 
be God, thence never made him an object of di- 
vine adoration ^ 

Respecting the general historical fact, that The 
primitive Christians, from the very apostolic age it- 

' Hist, of Early Opin. Introd. sect. iii. Worksi vol. vi. 
p. 30, 31. See above, book i. chap. 4. note in init. 


iielj\ worshipped the Saviour zuith divine adoration, 
I have already been at issu^ with Dr. Priestley *. 

There is a part of the question^ however, which 
I would now somewhat more minutely examine : 
and that part is. The invocation of Christ supposed 
hy Trinitarians to be recorded in the New Testament 
as the approved practice of the first believers. 

Of this invocation or adoration I have adduced 
various instances. Now, should the propriety of 
those instances be admitted by the theologians of 
the Antitrinitarian School, the dispute is obviously 
at an end : for, as Dr. Priestley well argues, if 
with the early, believers mentioned in Scripture, 
Christ were an object of prayer ; Christ must also, 
m their estimation, have been very God ^. 

But Antitrinitarians deny the proper divinity of 

Hence, for the purpose of rebutting the supposed 
£Eict, that Divine adoration is recorded in the New 
Testament to have been rightly paid to Christ, anti* 
trinitarian writers, by whatever mechanism, are 
plainly compelled to set aside the various instances 
of such adoration which are adduced by their op- 
ponents : and hence, in the regular course of my 
discussion, I am now brought to consider the va- 
lidity of the objections which they have started 
agmnst the adduced instances. 

^ See above, book i. chap. 4. 

* Hist, of Early Opin. Introd. sect. iii. Works, vol. vi. 
p. 30, 31. 


From the Council of Nice in the year 325 up 
to the death of St. John in the year 100^ I have 
traced retrogressively^ step by step, the divine adxh 
ration of Christ by the entire Ckurch CaihoUeK 
Such being the case, we are prepared to expect 
some record of the same divine adoration in the 
New Testament : and, accordingly, at least in the 
judgment of Trinitarians, there we actually find it*. 

Antitrinitarians, however, deny the occurrence 
of this record in the Greek Scriptures : and, to 
make good their denial, they attempt to put upon 
the adduced instances such a constraction, as may 
bring out a totally diflferent result '. 

Now, since they themselves contend that their 
labour has been successful, a Trinitarian has cer- 
tainly, on their own principles, a right to demand 
from them some explanation of the singular fiftct 
which inevitably springs up out of their alleged 
successful labour : the fact, namely, that The ado^ 
ration of Christ should have universally prevailed 
in the Church doxtmward from tlve time of St. John, 
and yet that There should be no traces of such adora- 
tion in the New Testament. 

^ See above, book i. chap. 4. 

' See above, book i. chap. 4. § xvii. 

' I do not, however, find : that they liave attempted to set 
aside the case brought from 1 Thessal. iii. 11, 12. See above, 
book i. chap. 4. § xvii. 2. (2.) It clearly cannot be disposed 
of on the favourite principle of visibility, respecting which we 
shall hear more as we proceed in the discussion. 


This demand may the more justly be made, be- 
cause the very circumstance of tlie actual umversal 
prevalence of the adoration in question, from the 
death of St. John in the year 100 down to the first 
Council of Nice in the year 325, involves, even in 
itself, the presumption ; that the trinitarian exposi- 
tion of the inspired phraseology is right, and that 
the antitrinitarian exposition of it is wrong : inas- 
much as the one produces a perfectly harmonious 
coDcinnity of the circumstance and the phrase- 
ology, while the other brings out a somewhat 
unaccountable inconcinnity. But, although the 
o\mom presumption be thus in favour of the trini- 
tarian expositor, we doubtless ought in equity to 
bear the objections which have been started by his 
antagonists. Let us, then, now proceed to give 
these objections a due hearing and a fair consider- 

L It has been remarked: that, even on the 
most cursory inspection of the New Testament, 


presents itself to our attention. 

This circumstance follows from a phraseolo- 
gical peculiarity, otherwise altogether unaccount- 

Unless the fact of the universal adoration of 
CHSJST had been notorious to the very last degree : 
the ordinary and familiar description of the primi- 
tive believers could never have been, all that in 



The phrase sets forth the invocation of Chritt. 
And nothmg, save the actual occurrence of the 
apostolically authorised invocation of Christy could 
have given rise to the phrase itself. 

If, then, the primitive beUevers were &miliarly 
known, as Those that called upon the name of Jesus 
Christ : they must, notoriously, under the express 
sanction of the Apostles, have practised the reli- 
gions invocation of their Saviour • 

And, if, as thus sanctioned, they practised the 
religious invocation of their Saviour : they must in- 
evitably. Dr. Priestley himself being judge, have 
esteemed him very god ; for, otherwise, it will be 
impossible to vindicate, either the teaching of the 
Apostles, or the practice of the apostolically taught 
Church, from the charge of gross and open idol- 

A conclusion like this, if drawn from well estab- 
lished premises, cannot but be fatal to the cause of 
modern Antitrinitarianism. To avoid it, therefore, 
a case must be made out : which shall acquit the 
believers of the apostolic age from the charge of 
invocating the name of Jesus Christ. 

For such purpose, recourse is had to a different 
translation of those various passages in the New 
Testament : which, in the judgment of the Catho- 

' Sec above, hfl^^ chap. 4. § xvii. 4. 


lie Church, most explicitly set forth and sanction 
the religious adoration of the Saviour. 

Instead of understanding the sacred writers to 
describe the primitive believers, as calling upon, or 
as reUgiousbf invocatingy the name of Christ: we 
are required to understand them, as merely saying ; 
that the primitive believers called themselves, or were 
called, by the name of Christ. 

So that, according to the new version, such 
passages set not forth any religious invocation of 
Christ; a practice, which, it is contended, was 
altogether unknown to the early Church : but they 
simply record the naked historical fact ; that The 
early disciples, both denominated tJiemselves, and 
were also by others denominated, Christians. 

This proposed translation, unless I greatly err, 
we stand bound most decidedly to reject. 

As it is alike irreconcileable, both mth chrona^ 
logy, and with the well ascertained apostolic use of 
the phrase, and with the interpretation of the early 
ecclesiastical writers : so, even in itself, it is altoge-^ 
ther inadmissible. 

1. The two earliest occurrences of the litigated 
phrase are in the continuation of the history of 
St Paul's conversion. 

When Christ commanded Ananias to put his 
hand on the eyes of Paul, that he might recover 
his sight : the answer, according to the old version, 
was. Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how 
much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem : 



and here he hath authority from the chief prie$is to 

bind ALL THAT CALL ON THY NAME ; OY, 08 the teXt 

appears^ in what has been styled by its authors 
The New Testament in an Improved Version, to 
bind ALL WHO are called by thy name \ 

In like manner^ when the Damascenes heard 
with amazement Paul strenuously preaching that 
Christy whose Gospel he had before so bitterly 
opposed : they asked, according to the old version. 
Is not this he, that destroyed them which called 
ON THIS NAME in Jerusalem ; ox, as the text appears 
in the new version. Is not this he, who destroyed 


Jerusalem * ? 

Now it is obvious : that, in the new translation 
of the litigated phrase, as it appears in the two 
preceding passages, an important historical pact 
is, of very necessity, involved. 


BE CALLED CHRISTIANS, are two kindred phrases of 
exactly the same import. 

Hence, if Ananias and the Damascenes familiarly 
mentioned the believers of Damascus and Jerusa- 
lem, as persons who were then called after the name 
of Christ : it will evidently follow ; that the be- 
lievers of Damascus and Jerusalem, not only in 
the day of Paul's conversion, but also for a con- 
siderable time previous to that event, were com- 

* Acts ix. 13, 14.^^^^ ' Acts ix. 21. 


monly known, both among friends and among 
enemies, by the appellation or title of christians. 

Such, plainly, is the naked historical fact, in* 
Yolved, of very necessity, in the new translation of 
the phrase now before us. 

And this fact, thus involved in the new transla- 
tion, draws after it, likewise of very necessity, a 
direct and open contradiction. 

According to the Editor of the Improved Ver- 
non, speaking through the medium of the novel 
rendering which he proposes to our acceptance, 
befievers were called christians, both at Jerusa- 
lem and at Damascus, anterior to the conversion 
of St. Paul. 

But, by the sacred historian, we are assured : 
that the disciples were called christians ^r*^ at 
Antioch ^ And we find : that the Church of 
Antioch was founded, subsequent to the martyrdom 
of Stephen, and in consequence of that persecution 
wherein Paul took so active a part \ 

Hence, if I mistake not, the improved transla- 
tion of the phrase, as it occurs in the two passages 
now under consideration, is quite irreconcileable 
with chronology. 

For the sacred historian declares : that the dis- 
ciples were called cHRiSTiANs^r*/ at Antioch. 

But the Editor, through the medium of his not 
very felicitous improvement, makes the same 

' Acts xi. 26. ' Acts xi. 19. 


sacred historian flatly contradict himself, by assur- 
ing US : that the disciples had been commonly and 
familiarly called after the name of Christ, or, in 
other words, had been commonly and fiuniliarly 
called CHRISTIANS, both at Damascus and at Jeru« 
salem, some considerable time before the Church 
of Antioch was even founded. 

2. The new rendering, however, not only im- 
pugns chronology : it is likewise irreconcileable with 
the well ascertained apostolic use of the litigated 

(1.) I need scarcely to remark : that the pecu- 
liar idiomatical Greek of the New Testament is 
the same modification of the language, as that em* 
ployed by the Seventy Translators of the Hebrew 

Now the precise litigated phrase again and 
again occurs in the Greek Version of the Old 
Testament : and, there, it invariably signifies, not 
tlie assumption of a distinctive name, but an act of 
solemn invocation or religious worship ^ 

* That the force of the present argument may be the more 
perceptibly felt, I shall exhibit two classes of passages in which 
the phrase occurs: the one taken from the Greek of the 
Seventy ; the other, from the kindred Greek of the New Testa- 

I. The following passages occur in the Greek of the Seventy. 

1. OvToe HXiriiTiy iiriKoXuffdai ro ovofia Kvplov rov Geov. 
Gen. iv. 26. 

2. Kal iir€Ka\iffaTO cicci "A/Spa/x rb oyofxa tov Kvpiov, Gen. 
xui. 4. 


If, therefore, we adopt the alleged improvement 
recommended to us hy the Editor : we shall, so 

3. 'KaX emKokiaaro cm ro ovofia Kvpiov, Gen. xxi. SS, 

4. Kal imKoXiaaro ro orofxa Kvplov. Gen. xxvi. S5. 

5* KjoX €wl /3a9iXe/ac9 at ro oyofjid aov oIk circraXcVoKro. 
Psalm. Ixxix. 6. 

6. Kal ro opofta Kvplov lir€KdKE<rafxriv* Psalm, cxvi. 4. 

7* Tov ttrucdXelffdai v&rrac ro oyo/xa Kvpiov, Zephan. iii. 9. 

n. On the other hand, the following passages occur in the 
kindred Greek of the New Testament. 

!• A^atu w6yras rovs iwiKciKovfUyovQ ro ovofid aov. Act. 
ix« 14. 

2, Olfx oirdg ktmv 6 iropOiiaac tv 'lepovtraXrj/jL rove iiriKoXov" 
fiiyovc ro ovofia rovro ; Act. ix. 21. 

Sm 2vir tratri role iiriKaXovfiivoic ro ovofxa rov Kvpiov ^fx&y 
liyoov Xpiarov iy irarri rdir^. 1 Corinth, i. 2, 

III. In all these passages, to which others might easily have 
been added, the self-same phrase, IwiKaKiitrOai ro oyo/iaf will 
be found to occur. 

Now, in EYBRT passage of the first class, the phrase indis- 
putably signifies to call upon the name in the sense of religious 

Yet, in bybrt passage of the second class, the Editor of the 
Improved Version renders it in the totally different sense of 
hemg called by the name. 

Whence, we may well ask, arises this uniform and systematic 
deviation firom the sense, in which the phrase is invariably 
used by the Greek translators of the Old Testament ? 

The answer is obvious. Had the phrase, as it occurs in the 
New Testament, been translated in the sense wherein it is in- 
variably used by the Greek interpreters of the Old Testa- 
ment, the Editor would have been constrained to acknowledge, 
that the primitive apostolic Church is, without censure, recorded 
in Scripture itself, as being accustomed to call upon the name of 


far as sense is concerned, set the kindred idiomar- 
tical Greek of the New Testament in direct con- 
tradiction to the kindred idiomatical Greek of the 
Old Testament. 

That is to say, if we receive the projected new 
version : we shall make a single identical phrase, 
which occurs very frequently in the kindred 
Greek of each of the two sacred volumes, to bear 
uniformly one sense in the one volume and another 
sense in the other volume. 

Such is the inevitable consequence of adopting 
the improved translation. 

Now, since the Scriptures are intended for uni- 
versal instruction, we may well be allowed to 

ChrisU But such a version would plainly have involved the 
doctrine of our Lord's divinity : and this was not to be toler- 
ated. In defiance, therefore, of the constant and invariable 
usage of the Seventy, a new version is excogitated, not on any 
fixed principles of grammar, but for the evidently sole purpose 
of serving the turn of modern Antitrinitarianism. 

The original hebrew phrase, OD2 K1p» is, by the greek 
translators, sometimes rendered eirucaXfc^ai iwl rf oydftaru 
and sometimes eirii:a\eiaOai kv t^ ovo/xari, as well as ciriicaT 
\iiaBai TO oyofia. But, as, in each case alike, the original 
hebrew is still the same : so, invariablyf their version of the 
phrase can only be understood in the sense of religious moo- 
cationf whether addressed to the true God or to a false god, 
whether put up to Jehovah or to Baal. See Gen. xii. 8, and 
particularly 1 Kings xviii. 24, 25, 26. That their rendering of 
the phrase could ever be deemed capable of bearing the totally 
different sense of nominal compeUation, does not seem once to 
have occurred to them. 


doabt : whether the inspired writers of the New 
Testament^ in the common conventional honesty 
of perspicuous composition^ either would or could 
have used an already familiar greek phrase in a 
sense totally different from what it had ever pre* 
vkmdy borne in the Septuagint Version of the Old 
Testament : a phrase^ too^ of no light or trifling im-* 
port, 80 that it mattered not very essentially how it 
might be interpreted ; but a phrase^ which^ if un- 
derstood as it had always been previously under^ 
stood in the kindred Greek of the Seventy, in- 
volved a point of no less importance than the reU* 
giotts invocation of the name of Christ. 

K, by the inspired writers of the New Testa- 
ment, this invocation of Christ had been deemed 
idolatrous ; and so it must have been deemed by 
them, had their sentiments corresponded with the 
sentiments of the modern Antitrinitarian School : 
in that case, even putting their inspiration out of 
the question, it is impossible for us to believe : 
that, simply as honest clear-headed men who 
wished to make themselves distinctly understood, 
they would, uniformly and (as it were) indus- 
tnoosly, have used a phrase, which, in the Greek 
Version of the Old Testament, is invariably em- 
{doyed to express the religious adoration of Jeho- 
rah ; without giving us the slightest hint or inti- 
mation, that, throughout their productions, they 
purposed to use the same phrase, in a sense, en- 
tirefy new and perfectly different and hitherto aU 
together unheard of and unknown. 


(2.) But this is not the only difficulty^ which 
attends upon the improved translation recom- 
mended by the Editor. 

As the Greek Interpreters of the Old Testa- 
ment never use the litigated phrase except in the 
sense of religious invocation : so^ when they ynsh to 
express the sense, which this same litigated phrase 
is, by the Editor, made to bear in the New Testa- 
ment ; they use quite a dififereut phrase. And this 
quite different phrase of theirs, through which they 
express the sense of one thing being called after 
the name of another : is actually, by the writers of 
the New Testament also, employed in the identical 
sense wherein they employ it \ 

* I shall here again exhibit two classes of passages, in 
which this other phrase occurs : the one, taken from the Greek 
of the Seventy ; the other, taken from the Greek of the New 

L The following passages occur in the Greek of the 

1. Toi; ivayayetv eKeiOev Tt)y Kifiwroy rov OcoD, e0* fjy ctcicX^- 
dri TO orofjLa rov Kvpiov. 2 Sam. vi. S. 

2. "Ivo /i^ KardKd(iwfxai lyij rt^y 9r6Xcv, Koi icXridj ro oro/Aa 
fiov Iv* ahriiy* 2 Sam. xii. 28. 

$• Kal lay lyrpavfj 6 Xaoc fxavy e0' ovq circviicXfjrai to oyofia 
fwv CTT* avTOVQ* 2 Chron. vii. 14. 

4. U&irra ra tBrrif €0* ovq eiriiccicXijrai to oyofxd fiov It ahroi^, 
Amos ix. 12. 

II.' On the other hand, the following passages occur in the 
kindred Greek of the New Testament. 

!• HayTa to, edvij, e0* ovq CTriiceicXijrai to ovofid fiov kir ovtov^. 
Act. XV. 17. 

2. Ow 



(3.) Nor yet is even this the whole which may 
be said, by way of shewing : that the new version 
IS quite irreconcileable with the well ascertained 
apostolic use of the litigated phrase. 

According to the necessary translation of the 
original Hebrew, in the book of the prophet Joel 
we read : Whosoever shall call on the name of the 
Lord, shall be delivered ^ 

Now this precise passage in the book of Joel St. 

2. Olrr aWol PXatrt^rifiovffi to KaXov ovofia to kviKKriQkv iift* 
v/iac; Jacob, ii. 7. 

III. In all these passages, the same phrase, iwiKaXeltrdai to 
ovo/M iwiy will be found to occur : and, as, throughout the 
translation of the Seventy, the other phrase, iTrtKaXeiaOai to 
ofofuif INVARIABLY (with the consent, I presume, of the Editor 
Himself) describes invocation ; so this phrase, tTriKaKiitrQai to 
ovofUL cxi, whether we encounter it in the Greek of the Seventy 
or in the Greek of the New Testament (still, I presume, with 
the consent of the Editor), invariably describes the imposition 
of a name. 

Such, then, being the constant usage and fixed import of the 
two distinct phrases, lirucaXeiadai to ovofia and iTriKaXelfTBai to 
oKOfux cirl, we may be sure ; that, if St. Paul, in 1 Corinth, i. 2, 
(for instance), had wished to express the idea attributed to him 
by the Editor, he would not have written, trvy wdai rocc iiruca- 
XovfUrotc TO ovofjLa tov Kvpiov fjfiuiy *lrjffov Xpitrrov : but, adopt- 
ing the phraseology of St. James and St. Luke and the Seventy, 
he would have written, trvv ironnv c^* owe tTriKaXilraL to oyofxa 
Tov Kvpiov fifi^y *lriaov Xpiorov. The same remark applies 
equally to every other place of the New Testament, where the 
phrase, IviKaXEierOai to orofia, occurs. 

» Joel ii. 32. 



Paul quotes, and applies to Christ : Whosoever shall 
call upon the name of the Lord, shaU be saved ^ 

From the circumstance of the word deBvered 
being employed by our translators in their vernon 
of Joel, while in their version of the Epistle to the 
Romans they accidentally use the different wwd 
saved, a mere english reader might perhaps hastOy 
fancy : that we have two distinct passages ; and 
that the christian apostle is not citing the hebrew 

But, in the Greek of St. Paul and in the Greek 
of the Seventy, one and the same word will be 
found to occur: and the whole citation, as we 
read it in the Greek of St. Paul, corresponds ver^ 
hatim with the greek translation of Joel ^ 

Hence it is clear ; that the citation as it is 
made by St. Paul, and the cited passage as it 
occurs in Joel, must each be understood in the 
same sense : for, in fact, the citation and the cited 
passage are identicaL But the cited passage, as it 
occurs in Joel, must, by the very necessity of the 
Hebrew Original, be understood in the sense of 

' Rom. X. 13. 

' The Greek of the Seventy runs : Uac, h^hv ilnKaKi9^^n,% 
TO ovofxa Kvplov, atitSifirerai, Joel ii. 32. 

The evidently cited Greek of St. Paul runs : Ilac yap, &c h^ 
^iriKa\i<niTai ro tvofia Kvplovy autOiifftTai, Rom. x. 1 3. 

Between the Greek, then, of the Seventy, and the eiUi 
Greek of St. Paul, the sole difference is this : St. Paul inserts 
the particle yap, for the purpose of connecting his citation with 
what he had been previously saying. 


kwocatiott. Therefore the citation^ as it is made 
by St Paul from the Greek Version of Joel, 
must assuredly be understood in the same sense 

Yety all this notwithstanding, though, from the 
Yery necessity of the Hebrew Original, the cited 
ptssage in Joel can only be translated ; Whoso^ 
toer shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be 
mved or delivered: the Editor of the Improved 
Version, in absolute defiance of the Hebrew Ori- 
ginal, and purely to serve the turn of modem 
hamanitarian theology, has thought fit to translate 
the citation, as made by St. Paul from the Greek 
Version of this identical book of Joel ; Whosoever 
iaketh upon himself the name of the Lord, shall be 

The important passage before us incontroverti- 
bly establishes the apostolic use of the litigated 
phrase : for, just as it is translated in the prophecy 
of Joel, so likewise must it be translated in the 
citation made of it by St. Paul. 

But it does still more. 

In the original Hebrew of Joel, the person, 
whose name is to be invocated, is jehovah. 
Now this very passage, thus characterised, is, by 
St. Paul, cited and applied to christ. Therefore 
the passage demonstrates: that, in the inspired 
judgment of St. Paul, christ is jehovah; and, 
ccmsequently, that, when we invocate Christ, we 

N 2 


invocate no such secondary God as is presented to 
us by the scheme of Arianism. 

Such, then, being the essential character of 
Christ, the primitive believers are consistently de- 
scribed, as being all that in evert place call 


(4.) And now let any candid person consider 
the circumstances which have been stated : and 
his decision may, I think, be easily anticipated. 

There is a phrase, which the greek translators 
of the Old Testament uniformly employ in the 
sense of religious invocation. Now this se^same 
phrase is repeatedly used also by the greek writers 
of the New Testament. Whence, naturally, or 
rather inevitably, we are led to conclude : that th^ 
likewise employ it in the same sense, as their con* 
fessedly kindred predecessors. 

Yet, if we may credit the Editor of The Im* 
proved Version, so far is this from being the case : 
that, while the greek translators of the Old Testai^ 
ment uniformly employ the phrase in the sense of 
religious invocation ; the greek writers of the New 
Testament uniformly, though doubtless very un- 
expectedly, and that too without giving the least 
hint of their departure from the unvarying usage 
of their kindred predecessors, employ it in the 
sense of nominal compellation. 

Again : there is another phrase, which the greek 
translators of the Old Testament never use in any 


sense except that of nominal compellation. And, 
in the self-same sense o{ nominal compellation, this 
other phrase is always used by the greek writers of 
the New Testament. 

In the case, then, of the second of these two 
phrases, we have petfect concord, between the 
^ek translators of the Old Testament, and the 
apreek writers of the New Testament. But, in the 
3ase of the^r^^ of them, if we adopt the improve- 
ment recommended by the Editor, we have the 
fiwst complete discord, between these two classes of 
allowedly kindred modifiers of the greek language. 

Lastly: a passage, which contains the first of 
the two phrases, is, by St. Paul, cited verbatim 
from the Greek Version of the prophet Joel. 
Hence it is clear : that, in whatsoever manner the 
phrase is translated into English, as it occurs 
in the prophecy of Joel ; in that same manner, 
also, must it be translated into English, as it 
occurs in the citation made by St. Paul. But the 
necessary english rendering of the phrase, as it 
occurs in the cited passage of Joel, is, most un- 
doubtedly : Whosoever shall call upon the name of 
the Lord. Therefore, the proper english render- 
ing of the phrase, as it occurs in the citation made 
by St. Paul, is, no less undoubtedly, and by the 
plainest necessity, the very same also. 

Yet, while the Editor, I presume, would ac- 
knowledge ; that the phrase, as it occurs in the 
Greek Version of the prophecy of Joel, can only 


be rendered into English, Whosoever shall call 
upon the name of the Lord : he recommends ; that 
the self-same phrase, as it occurs in the self^amn 
passage of Joel, should, nevertheless, when it is 
cited by St. Paul, be rendered into English, Who- 
soever taketh upon himself the name of the Lord. 

3. Evil as may now be the plight of the Editor 
of The Improved Version, his infelicity is not even 
yet completed. 

The new translation of the litigated phrase not 
only sets both chronology and apostolic usage at 
defiance : but it likewise runs counter to the re* 
ceived interpretation of the primitive Churchy which, 
from its nearness to the times of the original pro- 
mulgation of the Gospel, may well be thought to 
have best understood the mind of the inspired 
writers of the New Testament. 

By TertuUian and by Novatian, by Cyprian and 
by Jerome, the three former of whom flourished 
anterior to the Council of Nice, and the last oF" 
whom not many years after it, the phrase is, either 
palpably alluded to, or actually translated. And, 
in each case alike, it is invariably understood, not 
after the tenor of the Editor s misnamed improve- 
ment, but as it is most justly rendered in our com- 
mon English Version. 

(1.) Such is the purport of the manifest allusion, 
which we find in the Works of Tertullian. 

At this day, nations, which once knew him not, 
INVOCATE CHRIST : and, at this day, tribes flee for 


refuge to Christ, of whom former lij they were igno- 

(2.) Such also is the purport of the no less evi- 
dent allusion^ which occurs in the Tractate of No- 

If Christ be only a man, how is he present 
£VBRT WHERE INVOCATED : siuce Omnipresence is the 
mature, not of man, but of God 9 If Christ be only 
e man, why is a man invocated in our prayers 
0U a mediator: since the invocation of a man must 
ie judged inefficacious to afford salvation ^ ? 

(3.) Exactly the same sense is ajfixed to the 
phrase^ in its direct translation by Cyprian. 

The brethren, who are in bonds, salute you : as 
also the Presbyters and the whole Church ; which 
itself, Ukeztnse, with the greatest solicitude, watches 


' Christum enim hodie invocant nationes, quae euro non scie- 
Unl ; et populi hodie ad Christum confugiunt, quern retro ig- 
Dombant. TertuU. adv. Jud. de secund. advent. Christ. Oper. 

' Si homo tantummodo Christus, quomodo adest ubique in- 
^Koeatus : cum hsc hominis natura non sit, sed Dei, ut adesse 
omai loco poaait ? Si homo tantummodo Christus, cur homo 
Aorationibua mediator invocatur: cum invocatio hominis ad 
prKstandam salutem inefficax judicetur ? Novat. de Trin. io 
Oper. Tertull. p. 610. 

• Salatant vos fratres qui sunt in vincub's, et Presbyteri, et 
tota Ecdesia : qu» et ipsa, cum summa soUicitudine, excubat 
in omm*bu8 qui invocant nomen Domini. Cyprian. Epist* viii. 
Oper. vol. ii. p. 18. 


(4.) With its translation by Cyprian^ perfecti 
corresponds its translation by Jerome in the 6 
Latin Version which is still preserved among h 

Paul, called an Apostle of Jesus ChrUt thram 
the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to t 
Church of God which is at Corinth, to the sanct^ 
in Christ Jesus, called Saints, with all who nrv 


PLACE^ their Lord and our Lord, grace be unto y 
and peace from God our Father and from the Lo 
Jesus Christ^. 

4. Hitherto I have argued only the particul 
impossibility of the Editor's improved translation 
the phrase^ in those several passages of the Nc 

* Paul us vocatus Apostolus Jesu Christi per voluntatem S 
et Sosthenes frater, Ecclesiae Dei quae est Corinthi, sanctifies 
in Christo Jesu, vocatis Sanctis, cum omnibus qui invoci 
nomen Domini nostri Jesu Christi in omni loco, ipsomm 
nostro : gratia vobis et pax a Deo patre nostro et Domino J( 
Christo. 1 Cor. i. 1, 2, 3. Hieron. Oper. vol. viii. p. 11 
Colon. 1616. 

Jerome's own Commentary on the passage distinctly sheiR 
that, in his judgment, the ancient hebrew invocation of Jehov 
by the Levitical Priesthood is identical with the evangelii 
invocation of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Cum omnibus qui invocant nomen Domini nostri Jesu Christ 
Propria sacerdotum est invocare Dominum : quibus diciti 
Sic benedicite Jiliis Israel invocantes nomen meum super ill 
£t Psalmista dicit: Et Samuel inter eos qui invocant nam 
ejus. Hieron. Comment, in loc. 


Testament which have passed in review before us : 
and, for all theological purposes, this alone is quite 

But I may now safely advance yet further. 

Let the Editor or any of his friends produce, if 
they be able, a single place, either in the New 
Testament or in the Greek of the Old Testament, 
where the sense, imperiously and without any am- 
biguity, compels the adoption of his proposed ver- 
sion of the present Hellenism. 

If this can be done : then, at least, the abstract 
possibiUty of such a translation will be established. 

But, since, as I will venture to assert, it cannot 
be done : the Editor's translation is, even generally 
and abstractedly, a palpable impossibility. 

II. The recorded action of Stephen, when in 
the agonies of death, is closely connected with the 
important phrase which has been last considered : 
and, by Trinitarians, it is viewed, as demonstra- 
tively establishing the fact of The apostoUcally 
sanctioned adoration of Christ ^ 

Unless the whole Catholic Church, from age to 
age, has been a false interpreter, the primitive be- 
lievers, as we have seen, are, in the phraseology of 
the New Testament, denominated all those who 


Accordingly, in exact correspondence with such 
phraseology, we read, as follows, respecting the 

^ See above, book i. chap. 4. $ xvii. 3, 


They stoned Stephen, inyocatino and saying: 
dozen, and cried mth a loud voice : lord, lay not 


That the protomartyr, beif^ full of the Holy 
Ghost S and therefore being divinely directed in 
his conduct, invocated Jesus with his dying breath, 
and that on his knees he besought him to receive his 
own soul and to pardon his murderers : can neither 
be denied nor dissembled. That this invocation 
was a prayer : is indisputable. And^ that, without 
idolatry, prayer cannot be addressed to any one 
save the Lord God Almighty : is, if I mistake not, 
a point equally incapable of being fairly and satis- 
factorily disputed. 

What, then, is to be done with the remarkable 
circumstance now before us ? How are we to dis- 
pose of the present narrative ? 

If Stephen legitimately invocated Christ : then, 
by the admission of Dr. Priestley himself, Christ 
must clearly be God '. 

If Stephen unwarrantably invocated Christ : then 
the first of the noble army of martyrs died in the 

* Kal k\iBofi6\ovv tov Xrifpavov^ tiriKoKovfiivov koI Xeyovra' 
Kvpce *lTi<rov, ii^ai to iryivfid fiov, Be^c ^c to. yovara^ tK^aii 
^wvp /leydXp* Kvpce, /i^ flrr^erpc ahrdlQ n^v hfiapriav ravn|y« 
Act. vii. 59, 60. 

^ 'YTrapxwv cc irX^piyc TlyevfiaTog 'Ayiov, Act. vii. 55, 
' Hist, of Early Opin. Introd. sect. iii. Works, vol, vi. p. 
SO, 31. 


very act of gross idolatry ; and yet^ as if purposely 
to delude the Catholic Church into a perpetual 
repetition of the same wickedness^ his deed is re- 
corded by an inspired writer, not only without the 
slightest mark of reprobation, but even with an 
assurance that he was then fuU of the Holy Ghost. 
Such being the case, are we, like the collective 
primitive believers, both before and immediately 
after the death of St John (as we learn their stated 
liturgical practice from the depositions made before 
Pliny), to invocate Christ as God ? 

Or are we, rejecting the divinity of the Saviour, 
to pronounce Stephen an unreproved and (para^ 
doxical as the expression may sound) an inspired 
idolater ? 

How, on his principles, does the modem Anti- 
trinitarian solve this appalling diflSculty ? 

1. Though Stephen himself is said to have been 

fall of the Holy Ghost, Dr. Priestley, so far as I 

can understand his not very luminous solution, 

freely admits : that the protomartyr's conduct was 

not perfectly correct. 

But, while, according to this admission, he deems 
the act of Stephen a solitary instance of primitive 
idolatry : he thinks, that we ought not uncharitably 
to be too severe in our judgment upon the melan- 
choly case of the erring culprit ; since none of us 
poor frail creatures can pretend to say, what he 
might possibly do in a similar situation and in 
a similar hurry of spirits, even though the Holy 


188 THE APOSTOLicrrT [[book 11. 

Ghost himself should condescend to be our plenary 

To conclude, he remarks^ as some have done, from 
the single case of Stephen ; that All Christians are 
authorised to pray to Christ: is like concluding: 
that All matter has a tendency to go upward, 
because a needle mil do so when a magnet is held 
over it. When they shall be in the same circum- 
stances with Stephen, having their minds strongly 
impressed mth a vision of Christ sitting at the right 
hand of God: they may then, perhaps, be authorised 
to address themselves to him, as he did. But the 
whole tenor of the Scriptures proves : that, other* 
wise, we have no authority for any such practice *. 

*■ Letters to Bp. Horsley, part. ii. lett. 14. Works, vol. xviii. 
p. £45. Hist, of Early Opin. Introd. sect. iii. Works, vol. vi. 
p. 33. 

Dr. Priestley's repetition of this solution, in two several 
places, seems to imply, on his own part, the fulness of satis* 
faction. But, should any incredulous examiner still remain 
unconvinced, the fertile historian recommends to his attention 
yet another solution, which is ingeniously constructed upon an 
entirely different principle, which has the advantage of being 
& familiar illustration of evangelical verity, and which certainly 
brings off the protomartyr far more handsomely than the last 
even though twice-repeated. 

Stephen, he suggests, after all the labour which has been 
bestowed on the subject, never did invocate Christ, in the or* 
dinary precatory sense of invocation. He simply appealed 
to him, from the unjust judgment of the Sanhedrim : just as 
Paul appealed to Caesar, from the gross injustice of Festus. 
Famil. lUust. p. 37. 

I. It 


Dr. Priestley's assertion, relative to the whole 
tenor of tJie Scriptures, is a mere assertion. It 

I* It roust be confessed^ that, in both cases, the case of 
Stephen and the case of Paul, the same verb cTcjcoXeofiai is 
used by the sacred historian. Yet it may be doubted, whether 
the two cases are exactly parallel. 

I . Stephen's supplication, from his bended knees, for salva* 
Han to his onm soul and for pardon to his enemies, does not 
seem to bear any very close resemblance to the subject-matter 
of a legal process of appeal from a lower court to a higher court. 

2* If Stephen, as Dr. Priestley would familiarly illustrate the 
language of St. Luke, did nothing more than appeal to Christ 
for a reversal of the unjust sentence of the Sanhedrim: his 
APPEAL to this effect, that is to say, his appeal to demand 
justice and a redress of injuries, was oddly couched in the two 
following apparently quite irrelevant petitions ; Lord Jesus re' 
ceive my spirit, and Lord lay not this sin to their charge, 

II. On such fantastic glosses as the present familiar illus- 
tration, I may remark : that, so far as my own observation ex- 
tends, antitrinitarian writers, instead of fairly sitting down to 
ascertain the sense of a text, irrespectively of any particular 
theological system, by those various aids (scriptural and extra- 
scriptural) which we possess in sufficiently rich abundance, 
merely labour, through the medium of any strained or imagined 
grammatical or verbal possibility, to make it speak a language 
which shall not contradict their own predetermined hypothesis. 

The true construction of the place is not so much inquired 
after, as its possible verbal construction : and the object of the 
miaapplied criticism is, not the honest development of the in- 
ured writer's real meaning, but the security of a system an* 
teriorly and independently adopted. 

If we seek a pregnant specimen of such unhallowed pain- 
fnliiets, we need not travel beyond Dr. Priestley's familiar 
Ulusiratum of the conduct ascribed to Stephen by St. Luke. 


may^ therefore^ be fairly and fitly met by a simple 

Whether the conclusion, drawn by the Catholic 
Church from the act of Stephen^ does, or does 
not, resemble the imagined conclusion from the 
operation of the magnet ; and, in truth, it is a 
difficult matter to discover the resemblance be- 
tween the two cases : this, at least, is abundantly 
evident, that Dr. Priestley was in no ordinary 
perplexity, when employed in reconciling the con- 
duct of the protomartyr with the daring specula- 
tions of modern Antitrinitarianism. 

2. To a man of plain understanding, the solu- 
tion, proposed by Mr. Lindsey and the Editor 
of The New Testament in an Improved Version, is 
equally perplexing and more assumptive. 

Yet, as we shall successively find in the course 
of our examination, it is marvellous to think, of 
what wide application, and of what general utility, 
is the principle upon which that solution is con- 

(1.) Mr. Lindsey fairly and manfully owns : 
that, what Stephen spake to Christ, was neither 
more nor less than an absolute prayer. 

The difficulty, however, of an acknowledged 
prayer being offered up to a creature, he solves on 
the principle of visibility, as specially opposed to 


There is no doubt, says he, but that StepJien made 
this request, addressed xms prayer, to the Lord 


Jems. But thu can he no precedent for directing 
prayer to him unseen \ 

According, then, to the principle espoused by 
Mr. Lindsey, it is perfectly lawful to adore a crea^ 
ture when visible, but perfectly unlawful to adore 
the same creature when invisible. 

For, if we may credit this commentator, the sin 
of idolatry consists : not in the act oi Praying to 
a creatttrefor blessings which god only can bestow, 
as when Stephen prayed the Lord Jesus to receive 
his spirit and not to lay the sin of his murderers 
penally to their charge ; but solely in the appa* 
rendy unimportant circumstance of The creature's 

(2.) From Mr. Lindsey, the Editor of The New 
Version has been content to borrow the present 
solution : but, as being the latest writer of the 
two, he has not suffered it to pass through his 
hands, without enriching it by a manifest improve-* 
ment of his own. 

This ADDRESS of Stephen to Jestss, when he 
actually saw him, says the Editor, does not au- 
thorise us to offer prayebjs to him, now that he is 
invisible *. 

What Mr.Lindsey owned to have been a prayer, 
the more wary Editor, we see, dexterously calls an 
address: and this address to a visible creature 

* Lindsey's Apol. p. 1«9. 

* Improv. Vers, in loc. 


he ingeniously contradistinguishes from praters 
offered up to an invisible creature. 

The address of the undoubted primitiye Humap 
nitarian Stephen^ to the seen Jesus^ does not au- 
thorise the PRAYER of a modem Trinitarian to 
the now unseen Jesus. Stephen addressed Christ 
simply in the way of ordinary familiar conversa- 
tion ; just as Paul might address Peter, or Peter 
address Paul : but Trinitarians pray to Christ ; just 
as Antitrinitarians pray to the Deity himself. 

This may justly be deemed an improvement 
upon Mr. Lindsey's solution. But still, I fear, 
the language of Stephen, by Dr. Priestley consist- 
ently pronounced to be not quite correct, let the 
-Editor call it by what name he most affects : both 
is expressly described, by the sacred historian, as 
AN invocation ; and, in point of fact, is, to all in- 
tents and purposes, a direct prayer for salvation 
to himself and for pardon to his enemies, matters 
which (it is presumed) god only can accord. 

Now such an address or such a prayer, accord- 
ing as we adopt the nomenclature of the Editor or 
of Mr. Lindsey ; that is to say. An address or a 
prayer, for salvation to a man himself, and for 
pardon to his enemies: may, in the judgment of 
the Editor, be safely offered to Christ, provided 
only he be visible. But this is no warrant for 
those : who would offer an exactly similar address 
or prayer to Christ, now that he is invisible. 

To the mere man Christ, provided only we can 


SEE him with our bodily eyes^ we may blamelessly 
make an address or a prayer, for salvation to 
ourselves, and for pardon to our enemies : nor 
shall we, by this act, be in the least danger of 
incurring the charge of idolatry. But, the moment 
WE CEASE TO BEHOLD HIM with our bodily eyes, the 
case is quite changed : if we then pray to him or 
ADDRESS him, for salvation and pardon ; we are, 
ip$o factOy convicted idolaters : the very action, 
which one instant was perfectly lawful, suddenly 
becomes the next instant perfectly unlawful *. 

* This principle of visibility, when applied to the invocation 
of the Host of Heaven, will produce results alike edifying and 

I. If a man calls upon the Sun in the night-time, when the 
Sun is INVISIBLE to him : his invocation, then^ is rank idolatry. 

Bat let the same man call upon the same Sun in the day- 
time, when the Sun is visible to him as engaged in the bene- 
ficent occupation of illuminating and fructifying our lower 
world : and his invocation is, then, quite free from idolatry ; 
the invoker is undoubtedly clear in conscience. 

II. Again, conversely : if a man calls upon the Moon and 
the Stars in the day-time, or when they are invisible to him : 
his invocation, then^ is rank idolatry. 

But, if he only calls upon the same Moon and the same 
Stars in the night-time, when their brilliancy in the dark vault 
of heaven is visible : his invocation, then, ceases to be idol- 
atry; and he stands perfectly justified before both God and 

III. As the Editor remarks, mutatis mutandis, the invocation 
of Ahab*s Baalites from morning even until noon, when they 
actually saw the sun, does not authorise us to offer prayers 
to him or to call upon his name, when he is invisible. 



Verily, Antitrinitarianism has its hard sayings* 
no less than Trinitarianism. 

(3. ) The solution, recommended by Mr. Lindsey 
and the Editor, rests, we see, on the principle of 


Such a solution, even if supported by ii^ 
disputable matter of fact, still, I thinks would 
be the very reverse of satisfactory. But what; 
shall we say to it, when the alleged &ct, upon 
which it professedly rests, itself requires substan- 
tiation ? 

Where did these two commentators learn: 
that, at the moment of Stephen's invocation, 
Christ actually was visible to Stephen ? 

Certainly, I will not venture to deny the fact of 
our Lord's visibility, when Stephen invocated him: 
for, in truth, having no means of acquiring in- 
formation, I must even be content to acknowledge 
my entire ignorance, whether Stephen, at that 
time, did, or did not, see the Lord. But then, on 
the other hand, without adducing some distinct 
PROOF, a commentator can have no right to assert 
it : and still less, therefore, can he have any right 
professedly to frame upon it an attempted solution 
of a palpable difficulty. 

Now WHERE have we any distinct proof, that 
Stephen actually beheld Christ, when invocating 
him in the agonies of martyrdom ? 

The scriptural narrative is wholly silent on 
the subject : and, unless we can thence learn the 

CHAP, vil]] of trinitarianism. 195 

alleged fact, I know not from what other quarter it 
can be legitimately ascertained. 

While speaking, indeed, in the council-room be- 
fore the Sanhedrim, Stephen declares: that he 
sees^ the heavens opened, and the Son of man 
stan£ng at the right hand of God. But, subse^ 
quent to this declaration, he is dragged, not only 
out of the coundUroom, but even out of the city 
itself: and, so far as I know, we are no where told, 
that he continued to behold the heavenly vision. 

He might, or he might not. The question is 
left, by Scripture, in a state of total uncertainty. 
Nothing, save merely tlie change of place, is posi^ 
tively known. He beheld the vision, in the council- 
chamber : he was stoned, out of the city. 

Yet, upon an alleged fact wholly incapable of 
substantiation, have Mr. Lindsey alid the Editor 
constructed the solution, which is to exempt Ste- 
phen, though praying to a creature, from the 
charge of creature-worship. 

III. But, whatever may have been the conduct 
of the protomartyr, though he was full of tlie Holy 
Ghost, he was certainly not an Apostle. 

Now Mr. Lindsey boldly asserts: that. By the 
Apostles, at hast, prayer was never addressed to 
Christ \ 

1. In making this assertion, Mr. Lindsey differs 
from Dr. Priestley : and, as Dr. Priestley well 

^ Apol. p. 131, 132. Sequel to Apol. p. 67, 



judged^ he differs likewise from the plain language 
of Holy Scripture. 

St. Paul, if we may credit St. Paul's oum as- 
surance, thrice besought the lord, that the mes« 
senger of Satan might depart from him. But the 
LORD, here supplicated by the Apostle for grace 
and assistance, is indisputably christ. Therefore 
CHRIST is the person, to whom the Apostle ad- 
dressed his thrice-repeated supplication ^ 

That such is the true import of the passage, 
is fairly acknowledged by Dr. Priestley. For he 
supposes : that christ appeared to St. Paul, in a 
vision; that the Apostle, then, thrice besought 
CHRIST to remove the thorn which troubled him ; 
and that, in reply, christ declared his own strength 
to be made perfect in his servant's weakness *. 

Here, then, by the confession of Dr. Priestley, 
is a case directly in point : and the problem, to be 
solved, is ; How, without damage to the Antitrini- 
tarian Scheme, such a case is to be disposed of. 

In defiance of the context and of Dr. Priestley 
to boot, Mr. Lindsay would persuade us : that the 
acknowledged prayer of Paul was addressed, not 
to Christ, but to the Father; whom he maintains 
to be, exclusively, the true Supreme Divinity. 

Dr. Priestley, on the contrary, clearly perceiv- 
ing, and (much to his credit) candidly owning, 

* See above, book i. chap. 4. § xvii. 2. (1.) 

* Notes on the Script, cited in Improv. Vers, in loc. 


that cHaiST was the object of Paul's supplication^ 
strives to rid himself of the difficulty, by calling in 
the aid of that grand mystery of modern Antitrini- 
tarianism^ The legaUty of Creature- Worship, pro- 
vided only the zvorshipped creature be visible. 

Respecting the indigestible paradox of visibility 
AND invisibility^ nothing more, I apprehend, needs 
to be said. Those^ who can receive such strong 
meat, are certainly no babes in Theology. At 
present, then, I have simply to inquire into the 
alleged fact, upon which Dr. Priestley's solution 
professedly reposes. 

Paul, says the historian, beheld the Lord Jesus, 
when he thrice besought him to remove the mes- 
senger of Satan. Therefore, on the principle of 
visibility, his prayer to the creature was justi- 

Where did Dr. Priestley learn : that Paul, on 
this occasion, did behold the Lord Jesus ? where 
is Dr. Priestley's proof : that the Apostle, with 
his bodily eyes, actually saw that Lord, whom he 
confessedly invocated for grace and deliverance ? 

In St. Paul's ozan account of the transaction, not 
a smgle syllable is said in confirmation of Dr. 
Priestley's perfectly gratuitous theory. He no 
where informs us : that Christ was visibly present, 
when he thrice besought him. 

As to the answer which the Apostle received 
to his prayer, in order to account for such a cir- 
cumstance, we require not the unsupported hypo- 



reply may have been^ for any thing that appears to 
the contrary^ conveyed to him, either by an audible 
voice from heaven, or by that infallible impression 
upon the mind which is identical with inspiratioiu 

I pretend not to assert, that such actually wai 
the case : for, as in the former instance of Stephen, 
I must be content to plead my utter ignorance. 
St. Paul is altogether silent on the subject. He 
may, or he mxiy noty have then seen his Master. 
On this point, we absolutely know nothing. Dn 
Priestley, in his proposed solution, assumes the 
very matter, which it was his business to prove. 
For Dr.. Priestley's assertion of Our LortTs visibi- 
lity on that occasion rests upon no better founda* 
tion, than the authority of Dr. Priestley himself. 

Hence, as in the preceding case of Stephen, it 
is obvious : that a solution, which is built entirely 
upon the mere conjecture of a hard-pressed con- 
troversialist (even if, abstractedly, the principle of 
the solution were, in itself, satisfactory), can never 
be legitimately admitted in argument. 

The Antitrinitarian, however, is heartily wel- 
come to Dr. Priestley's solution. I am myself 
quite satisfied with his acknowledgment : that the 
PRAYER of the holy Apostle was addressed to 


2, Though Mr. Lindsey denies ; that, by the 
Apostles, PRAYER was ever offered up to christ : 
yet, somewhat inconsistently, he employs the prin* 


riple of vismiLiTT to account for an acknowledged 
PRATBR, which is addressed to our lord by yet 
mother Apostle. 

At' the close of the Apocalypse, St. John records 
himself to have used the following invocation : 
Epen so, come. Lord Jesus \ 

According to Mr. Lindsey, these words are only 
the Apostle's reply, addressed to the Lord Jesus 
then VISIBLY present with him. Hence, though 
clearly a prater for the speedy arrival of the 
lecond advent ; a matter, which, if I mistake not, 
rests exclusively in the providential disposition of 
IHV GODHEAD : they are, nevertheless, perfectly 
murranted by the industrious principle of visi- 


I am here, yet a third time, encountered by 
mere gratuitous assertion : when, to the cogency, 
if cogency it can be called, of the projected solu- 
tion, DIRECT PROOF is plainly essential. 

Mr. Lindsey assures us : that The words of St. 
John are a reply addressed to Christ then visibly 

Where is his proof ? 

Truly, the whole weight of evidence is against 
bis gratuitous assertion : for the whole context of 
the prayer establishes, not the visibilfty, but the 

' See above, book i. chap. 4, § xvii. 1. (1.) 
' Apol. p. 13d. 


This will be manifest to any one^ who carefully 
peruses the concluding chapter of the Apocalypse. 

The entire conversation^ as detailed m that chap* 
ter^ passes^ between St. John on the one hand^ 
and an angel who shews him the vision of the 
heavenly Jerusalem on the other hand. These 
two are the sole speakers^ who are ever brought 
upon the stage. 

With respect to the angel^ he first declares him- 
self to be sent by the Lord God of the spirits of 
the prophets : and, as acting in the capacity of a 
messenger, and as speaking (after the manner of 
Scripture) in the name of his principal, he says ; 
Beholdy I come quickly *. 

From the circumstance, apparently, of his thus 
speaking in the first person, St John mistakes tht 
sent for tlie sender : and, thence, as he tells us, he 
fell down before the feet of the angel to worship 

The angel, however, immediately checks his 
misplaced devotion, by telling him : that he is 
nothing more than his fellow-servant *. 

He then proceeds to address his last speech to 
St. John : in which he professes himself to be sent 
by Jesus ; and in which, again delivering his mes- 
sage in the first person, he twice more says, in the 
name of his principal. Behold, I come quickly *. 

* Rev. xxii. 6, 7. * Rev. xxii. 8. 

' Rev. xxii. 9. * Rev. xxii. 10 — 20. 


With this thrice repeated declaration in the name 
of him who sent him^ the final speech of the dele- 
gated angel terminates : and, in reply, John ad- 
dresses to CHRIST, though CHRIST throughout the 
whole conversation was never visibly present, a 
direct prater for the speedy arrival of the second 
advent ; Even so, come, Lord Jesus \ 

Hence, Mr. Lindsey*s very principle of visibility, 
whatever may be its own intrinsic worth, here 
completely &ils him. 

An inspired Apostle addresses a specific prayer 
to CHRIST: Christ himself, at that precise time, 
being not visible, but invisible. 

' Rev. xxii. 20. The conclusion of the angel's last speech to 
St. John, which speech begins Rev. xxii. 10 and ends Rev. 
Hxu* 20, is exactly similar to the style of the old prophets. 

He^ which tesitfieth these things, saith : Surely, I come quickly. 

Thus saith the Lord of hosts : Yet once it is a little while, and 
I will shake the heaven and the earth. 



The fable of Dr. Priestley ; that Justin Martyr 
borrowed the speculation of The Personal Divim 
Word, through the medium ofPhilo,from the School 
of Plato ; and thence introduced it, ready concocted, 
into the Christian System : this fable has^ already, 
been sufficiently exploded. 

Yet, since antitrinitarian writers, one after ano- 
ther, are wont stoutly to allege ; that Certain of 
the early Fathers j by their too great fondness for the 
philosophical learning of Geniilism,corrupted Christ- 
ianity, in respect to the tenets of Chrisfs godhead 
and The Trinity, no less than Justin himself who is 
commonly set down as the ringleader of the inno- 
vators : it may be useful to inquire, what degree 
of actual truth there is in this perpetually reiterated 
allegation ^ 

' See Priestley's Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 2. Works, 
vol. V. p. 30. Letters by another Barrister, p. 105. 281. 


The Fathers, chiefly implicated in this serious 
charge, are, I believe, Justin, Ireneus, Athenagoras, 
TertuUian, and Clement of Alexandria. 

Now, as I have myself perused the entire Works 
of those early authors, all of whom flourished in 
the course of the second century : I certainly am 
at a loss to divine, upon what evidence the charge 
in question can have been founded. 

For the satisfaction of other persons, however, 
the most equitable process will be : to turn to their 
own writings, and thence to learn what they them- 
selves really say respecting this matter. 

I. On the hypothesis (for, in truth, it is no better 
than a mere gratuitous hypothesis) ; that Those 
ancient Ecclesiastics received their novel speculations 
from the philosophy of Gentilism : it is clearly im- 
possible, that they could have spoken of their 
cherished instructors in the language of contempt. 
Yet, so far as dry matter of fact is concerned, we 
actually find such to be the case. 

1. The language of Justin, to this effect, we have 
already heard : but it may not be unprofitable to 
follow the holy martyr in certain yet additional 

You will adduce, says he to the Greeks, the wise 
men and the philosophers: for, to these, as to a 
strong'hold, you are wont to make your escape, 
whenever, concerning the gods, any one twits you 
with the opinions of the poets. Wherefore, since it 
is fitting to begin with the first and the most ancient^ 


commencing with them, I will shew : that the specur 
lotion of each philosopher is still more ridiculous, 
than even the theology of the poets *. 

He then proceeds, in regular succession^ through 
the several opinions of Thales, Anaximander, 
Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Anaxagoras, Archelaus, 
Pythagoras, Epicurus, Empedocles, plato, and 
Aristotle, for the purpose of convicting them all 
of manifest and indisputable folly. 

With respect to plato in particular, nothing can 
be more contemptuous than Justin's sneer at him. 

Plato, forsooth, is as sure that the Supreme Deity 
exists in a fiery substance, as if he had come down 
from above, and had accurately learned and seen aU 
the things that are in heaven '• 

Finally, rejecting the vain speculations of jarring 
sophists, he pronounces it the best wisdom to seek 
for truth at the primeval fount of ancient hebrew 

Since, continues he to the Greeks, it is impos- 
sible to learn from your teachers any thing true 

rovQ yapy dairep cjrl t€i\0£ ^X^P^^f Karate vyccv ccwOare, iirBi^ar 
Tig vfilv TCLQ tQv iroiriTwy ircpi dtQv AirayyEXXp SS^ag, OvKovVf 
iirei^il'Trep iiiro rdv iraXaiSty koI trpitnay &piaardai wpotn/Keif iyrtV' 
dtv hpldfityo^f rily iKaarov ^o^ay iKdrjaofiaiy iroWf yeXoioripay 
rtjg Twy TToiriTCjy dtoXoylag ovaay. Justin, ad Grsec. Cohort. 
Oper. p. 3. 

' nXarw fjisy yap, wq Aywdey KarikriXvdwSf koI ra ly ohpa- 
yolg Axayra iLKpift&g fi€fiadriKu>g Koi kwpaKwg, roy iLyufraTia Oeov 
iy TJ xvpwhi oifffi^ tiyai Xeyet, Justin. Cohort. Oper. p. 4» 

:hap. viii.^ of Trinitarian ism. 205 

respecting piety toward God, inasmuch as their very 
£fference of opinion is a plain proof of their igno^ 
ranee ; I deem it an obvious consequence, that we 
fhauld return to our own forefathers : who are of 
much higher antiquity than any of your teachers; 
who have taught us nothing from their own mere 
phantasy; who among themselves have no discre^ 
pancies ; and who attempt not mutually to overturn 
the opinion of each other, but who, mthout zvrangling 
and disputation, communicate to us that knowle^e 
which they have received from God. For, neither 
by nature nor by human intellect, is it possible for 
men to attain the knowledge of such great and divire 
matters ; but only by the gift which descends from 
above upon holy men, who needed not the arts of 
eloquence or the faculty of subtle disputation, but 
who judged it solely necessary to preserve themselves 
pure for the efficacious energy of the Divine Spirit \ 
2. Equally vituperative is the language of Ter- 

' OvKovvj inttiiiTrep ov^iy iiXridBQ wepl deoaefieiaQ irapa rStv 
Itfuripwr BiiatrKiiXwy fiayddyeiy l<rri ^vyaToy^ iKayijy vyTiy 6,^6' 
Ctiliy rijc ifivrdy kyyoia^ Zta r^c irpoc AXX^Xovg trratntaQ wapitr- 
^K6Twy' aK6\ovdoy ^yovfiai cLyeXdtiy €xt tovs tifieripovt irpo- 
yrfyovc, rove Kal rovs ')(p6yovg rSty Trap' vyTiy hiZaoKoktay iroWf 
TpoitXri^TaQ, Kal firi^ey &7ro Tfjg l^iag ahrwy (jtayraaiag ^i^d{- 
oirac ^fifiCj ft»?^^ irpoc AXX^Xovc ^uyt^diyrag rj ra &XkiiX(ay 
iiyarpiirety Trccpaf/xcvoi/c, aXX* d^cXove/jcctic (^a^ htrramatmMfQ r^y 
vapa Oiov ^e^afiiyovg yvQaiy^ Kal ravrriy ^tZatrKoyraQ ijfidQ, 
Ovrc yap ^vo-ec, ovt€ iLydpafwlyi^ kyyoi<fy ovtu> ynyaXa Kal Qtia 
yivittrKtiv aydpanroig ^vvarov, AXXci r^ aydtdey eirl rove Ay/ovc 
iripac rriyiKavra icarcXOovcp ^wpe^f oTc oh Xoyaty k^iffai Ti\yric 


tuUian: who yet, mth his learned philosophical 
contemporaries (I employ the singular phraseology 
of a modem antitrinitarian speculatist), parados* 
cal as it may seem to an ordinary inquirer, has 
been roundly and confidently pronounced to have 
been mainly concerned in bringing into the Church 
the then novel doctrines of the Trinity and Chrisfs 

For the authors of our theology, says he, we have 
the Apostles of the Lord: who not even themsehes 
arbitrarily chose, what they would introduce; but 
who faithf idly delivered to the nations t/iat discipUne, 
which they had received from Christ. — finally, 

SOPHY. — Thence spring those fables and endless ge- 
nealogies and unfruitful questions and discourses 
creeping like a gangrene : from which the Apostle 
would rein us back, by charging us, even in so nwny 
words, to beware of philosophy. — What, tlien, is there 
in common, between Athens and Jerusalem, between 
the Academy and tlie Church, between Heretics and 
Christians ? Our institution is from the porch of 
Solomon: who himself has admonished us to seek 
the Lord in simplicity of lieart. Let those persons 
see to it, who have brought forward a stoical or a 
PLATONIC or a dialectic Christianity \ 

ohlk Tov IpitFTiKwc ri Kal iftiXoyeiKwe direiv, &XKa KadapovQ «o»- 
^^pvc rp TOV dtlov HyevfiaroQ vapaaxelv ivtpytiq,, Justin. Cohort. 
^^fcpr. p. 6, 7. 

Domini habemus autores : qui nee ipsi quicquam 



From the prophets and from Christ, we are in* 
structed in regard to God: not from the phihso* 
phers or from Epicurus \ 

God hath chosen 4he foolish things of the world, 
that he 'might confound the ztise. — Through this 
simplicity- of the truth, directly contrary to sub^ 
tUoquence and philosophy, we can savour nothing 

The person, who thus utterly and avowedly dis« 
claims philosophy, who declares that all heresies 
qpriiig from it, who censures the heretical intro- 
ducers of a stoical or a platonic or a dialectic 
Christianity, wha professes to learn the nature of 

ex suo arbitrio, quod inducerent, elegerunt ; sed acceptam a 
Christo diBciplinam fideHter nationibus adsignaverunt. — Ipsse 
demque hsereses a philosophia subomantur. — Hinc illas fabulao. 
et genealogiae indeterminabiles et quaestiones infructuosse et 
aennones serpentes velut cancer : a quibus nos Apostolus re- 
firaenans nominatim philosophiam testatur caveri oportere. — 
Quid ergo Athenis et Hierosolymis, quid Academiae et Eccle- 
sise, quid Haereticis et Christianis ? Nostra institutio de por- 
ticu Salomonis est, qui et ipse tradiderat Dominum in simplici- 
tate cordis esse quserendum. Viderint, qui stoicum et platoni- 
cum et dialecdcum Christianismum protulerunt. Tertull. adv. 
haer. § 2, 8. Oper. p. 97, 98. 

' Deum noSy a prophetis et a Christo, non a philosophia nee 
ab Epicuro, erudimur. Tertull. adv. Marcion. lib. ii. § 1S» 
Oper. p* 181. 

' Stulta enim mundi elegit Deus, ut confundat sapientes. — 
Hac simplicitate veritatis, contraria subtililoquentise et philo- 
aophiae, nihil perversi possumus sapere. Tertull. adv. Marcion. 
lib. V. $ 40. Oper. p. 328. 

208 THE AP05T(»JCmr \jbook II. 

God not from the schools of the phflosophers but 
from Christ and the prophets, who states that 
even the Apostles did not presume to brmg any 
thing of their own arbitrary selection into the 
Church but that they futhfuUy taught the nations 
as they had themselves learned from Christ : this 
very person is, by a modem antitrinitarian writer, 
actually accused of having endeavoured, in con- 
junction with his learned philosophical contem- 
poraries, to introduce, from the reveries of pla- 
tonism, into the hitherto strictly unipersonalising 
and humanitarian Church, the novel doctrine of 
a Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the God- 

II. As the philosophy of the Gentiles is thus 
contemptuously reprobated and rejected; whfle, in 
its place and in direct opposition to it, the revealed 
word of God, communicated through Christ and 
the Prophets and the Apostles, is declared to be 
the only source whence the Church derived her 
theolog}' : so, instead of themselves borrowing from 
that philosophy certain new doctrines hitherto 
unheard of by Christians, these early ecclesiastics 
describe it as the fruitful parent of every heresy. 

1. To this purpose speaks the venerable Irendus : 
who yet, by Dr. Priestley, has been accused, in 
conjunction with Justin and sundry others his con- 
temporaries, of introducing the doctrine of the 

' Letters by another Barrister, p. 105. 


Logos from the schools of the philosophers into 
the System of Christianity. 

Heretics are not only convicted of stealing from 
the comic vniters ': but they Ukeanse collect together 
the sayings of all those, who are ignorant of God, 
and who are called philosophers. Out of these 
numerous vile borrowed rags, they industriously patch 
up a sort of cento: and thus, through the intra- 
ducHon of a new doctrine, they prepare for them- 
selves, with subtle eloquence, a system superficial^ 

He then goes on indignantly to remark : that 
their dishonest corruptions of Christianity are no 
better^ than so many mere plagiarisms from Thales 
and Homer and Anaximander, and Anaxagoras 
and Democritus and Epicurus and plato and Em- 
pedocles and Aristotle and Pythagoras. 

2. Exactly similar also are the repeated de- 
clarations of Tertullian. 

Turning from the Christians to the philosophers, 
from the Church to the Academy and the Portico, 
Hermogenes has thence borrowed from the Stoics the 
phantasy of conjoining Matter with the Deity. For 
Matter, he contends, always existed; being neither 

^ £t non solum, quas apud comicos posita sunt, arguuntur, 
quasi propria proferentes: sed ctiam, quae apud omnes qui 
Deum ignorant et qui dicuntur j)hilosophi, sunt dicta, haec 
congregant ; et, quasi centonem ex multis et pessimis pannicu- 
lis consarcientes, superficiem subtili eloquio sibi ipsi praepara- 
verunt. Iren. adv. haer. lib. ii. c. 19. § 2. p. 117. 



bom, nor made, nor having either begmnmg or end: 
and, out oj this, God afterward created all things \ 

In good truth, I grieve to say : that PLATa hat 
become the universal seasoner of heretics. — Sinee^ 
then, those matters, which heretics borrow, are kh 
sinuated by plato^ / shall sufficiently confine heretics^ 
if I demolish the argument of pl ato *. 

Philosophers are the patriarchs of HEBETIcs^ 

Finally, heresies themselves are suborned from 

Thus speaks TertuUian respecting what he 
deems the very hot-bed of heresy. Yet, acoord- 
uig to a favourite and cherished h3rpothesis of the 
modern Antitrinitarian School, this very TertuI* 
lian, it will be recollected, was so enamoured of 
gentile philosophy, that he became a grievous and 

^ A Christianis enim conversus ad philosophos, de Eodesia 
in Academiam et Porticum, inde sumpsit a Stoicis materiaa 
cum Domino ponere : quae et ipsa semper fuerit, neque Data 
neque facta nee initium habens omnino nee finem; ex qna 
Dominus omnia postea fecerit. Tertull. adv. Hermog. } 1. 
Oper. p. 335. 

' Doleo, bona fide, Platonem omnium hsereticoriun condi- 
mentarium factum. — Cum igitur hujusmodi argumento flUi in* 
sinuentur a Platone quae haeretici mutuantur, satis haeretieos 
repercutiam, si argumentum Platonis elidam. TertulL de 
anim. Oper. p. 659. 

' HiERETicoRUM PATRiARCuiE FHiLOsoPHi. Tertull. adr. 
Hermog. § 4. Oper. p. 339. 

* Ipsae denique haereses a philosophia subornantur. Ter- 
tull. adv. haer. } 2. Oper. p. 97. 


ihameless pilferer from it^ for the purpose of en* 
iching Christianity with doctrines which Christ- 
anity herself was wholly ignorant of : and, in the 
lopeful process of depredation, he was eagerly 
oined by those, who have been styled Ms learned 

III. Bad, however, as pagan philosophy might 
be in the judgment of the early Fathers ; it still, 
they thought, contained some points, good in 
themselves, and even conformable to divine revela* 
tion. But such exceptions to a general rule re- 
Bected small credit upon the philosophers. What- 
ever was bad, was their own : whatever was good, 
if we may believe these primitive theologians, they 
remorselessly stole or borrowed from Moses and 
the Prophets. 

1. Such is the theory, by which Justin would 
account for the existence of all that was praise- 
worthy in gentile philosophy. 

Ytmr philosophers, says he to the Greeks, through 
tie agency of divine providence, have unwillingly 
been even themselves compelled to speak on our side 
of the question: and more especially those, who so^ 
joumed in Egypt, and who were benefited by the 
iheoseby of Moses and his ancestors. For those of you, 
who are acqtminted with the history of Diodoms 
and with the productions of otJier similar zvriters, 
can scarcely, I think, be ignorant : that Orpheus 
and Homer and Solon and Pythagoras and Plato 

p 2 


and several others, having sq/oumed in Egypt and 
having been benefited by the history of Moses, ^ter^ 
ward set forth matters directly contrary to their for^ 
mer indecorous speculations concerning the gods. 

Thus for instance, Orpheus, though the first teacher 
of polytheism among you, declared, to his son Musim 
and to other sincere hearers, the umty of the God" 
head. — We find him also adjuring the voice of thb 
FATHER : by which expression he means the word of 
GOD^ through whom were produced the heavens and 
the earth and the whole creation, as the divine pro- 
phecies of holy men teach us. For, becoming parth 
ally acquainted with these prophecies in Egypt, he 
thence learned: that the whole creation was produced 


Pythagoras, Uketmse, who through symbols mysti' 
cally declared the dogmata of his philosophy, learned 
just sentiments, concerning tlie unity of God, during 
his abode in Egypt. — 

After a similar inanner, Pluto, as it seems, learned 
in Egypt the doctrine of Moses and the other pro- 
phets respecting one only God. — For, wishing to in- 
terpret to the ignorant what was mystically said con^ 
cerning the eternity of God, he zvrote as follows : 


Here, under the name of the ancient discourse, 
Plato clearly ami openly alludes to the Law of Moses : 
though, through fear of aconite, he did ?iot venture 


to mention the precise name of the Hebrew Legis- 

^ HoXXa yap Koi ovroc, inro rffc Oc/ac tQv hvOpitnav irpoyoCaCf 
Kite igorrtc hrtp iifiQy elxccv {jyayKaadfiffay^ Kal fji6\itrra oi ky 
AXyinrr^ y§y6juyoi, koI Slvo r$c Mkivaiw^ koI ruy irpoy6yiay ah- 
TW deofftfiilac iSp^eXi|OciTCC« Oh yap XayQaytiy iyiovQ vfi&y o7- 
fAaif eyTv\6yraQ irayria^ icov ry t£ Aio^utpov itrropl^ ical rale Tiiy 
XonrHy T&y wept rovruiv loropiyo'dvrwv, on koi 'Op^cvci koI "O/iiy- 
poCf Kol ^Xuy 6 rovQ y6fJiOVQ 'Adtyva/occ yfypa0ci>c» f^ol nvda- 
y6patf Kol nXdrwvi ical dfXXoi rivcC) iy r^ Alyvurw yty6fitvoi^ 
Ka\ er r#c MMvacftic laropiaQ ufftXtideyreQ, varepoy lyayria rHy 
Tp6rtpoy fifi KaXiJQ wepl dewy ^^dyrwy ahroiQ antip^yayTO, 

'Op^vc y' oJv, o T-^c xoXi/6€<5njroc v/iwv, wc «>' ctTroi ric» 
wpwTOQ iiidfTKoXoQ y€yova»c» ola irpoc rov vioy ahrov Movcraloy 
Kol rove Xocirovc yyr^vlov^ dxpoarac verrepoy irept cvoc ical fji6yov 
Oeov Ktipvrrei Xcyiuv, dyayxaloy {nrofiyrjirai vfjtdg. — Kal ly toIq 
ipKOic a oUrwQ' Ovpayoy 6pKi(ta tre Qeov fieyakov <ro<^v tpyoy' 
Air&^K opKi^w at TLarpOQ r^y ^Qiyiaro Trpwror, rivlKa Kdtrfwy 
itrayra cole anfpi^aTO /3ovXacc* Te /3ovX€rai to Xiyeiy aifToy* 
Ahi^y opKi^u 9t narpoc n^v ^Biylfl-TO irpwrov ; Ah^ify iyravQa 
Toy Tov Oiov oyofidiyti Aoyov, ^i* ov ovpayoQ Ka\ yrj Kal ij irdaa 
iyiyero icrlinCf iS^c ^i^dtrKovviy iifidg at deiat r&y dyiu>y dy^pwy 
wpoftirtlaif ale iy /lipii Kal avroc iy r^ AiyvTrr^ 'JCpo(r\ityf cyvui, 
^c rf» A6yf roiv Qiov xdaa iyiyero fi KriniQ* 

*0 3c TOV Myjiffdp^pv Ilvdayc^pac, 6 ra Myfiara TiJQ kavTov 
^iXoao^lac ^th (rvfifioXwy ixvoTiKStQ iKdifityoQ^ Cjq ZriKovtriy ol Toy 
fiioy avTov ycypa^orec , fijia Kal ahTog ri/c €«c Atyvxrov dwoSfi' 
fdag T€pl iyog Oeov tf^poywy ^aiVerac. — 

OvTM fiiy oZy 6 Uvday6paQ' IlXaroiv ^c, dwo^e^dfityoc fiiy^ wg 
iouctyf Hly wepl iyog Kal fioyov Qtov Mwvtriofg Kal Tuty dWwy 
wpo^ffT&y ^iBaaKaXlay, fjy iy AiyvnT^ yeydfieyog eyyw. — Am 
rovTO Toiyyy &airep ipfifiyevaai toIq dyyoovai to fivoTiKwg ireplTijg 
diiidrrfTOg tov Qeov hd tijc fitTOj(fis eipjifxiyoy (iovXofJieyog 6 IlXa- 
rMV, ai/ralc Xi^eoiy ovTf yiypatj^ey* 'O fjiy ^il Oeog, wtrirep Kai o 


To the same purpose he speaks in the second 
of his two Apologies : though he does not here 
specify the source^ whence he supposes the philo- 
sophical Pagans to have derived the better articles 
of their theology. 

The doctrines of Plato are not enHrely aUenfrom 
those of Christ, while yet they are not altogether 
similar : and this remark applies equally to the doC' 
trines of other toriters, whether they be Stoics or poets 
or historians. — 

Whatsoever things, therefore, have been well spoken 
by all of these, are the property of us Christians : 
for, next after God (the Father), we worship and 
we love THE WORD, who is from the unbegotten and 
ineffable God ; since, for our sakes, he became man, 
in order also that, being made a joint partaker of 
our passions, he might effect our healing *• 

His language is still the same in his first 

ndkatOQ \6yoQ, dpx^iv kqX riktVT^v Koi ultra rStv iravT^v ^x^^* 
^Etvravda 6 HXaTuty^ o'a^wc tai ^a^cpwCy tov xaXatov \6yor 
MJi/^fuic 6yofia(ei vofwv, tov fiiy 6v6fiaTOQ Muvfriu^, ^fi^ ^^ 
Ktityeiov, fxefjivfjadai ^e^iaȣ. Justin. Cohort, ad Grsec. Oper. 
p. 11,12,14, 18. 

' Oif\ 6ti dWoTpia itrri ra HXanoyog ^i^ayfiara rov XpurrcHt 
d\X* 6ti ovk earn Trdyrrj Sfioia, uffnep ov^e ra tQv aXXftiy, SriM* 
Kwy re, Kal Troii^roiv, ical avyypatfkiufy* — ■"Oo'a oZy irapa xaorc ctt* 
XwQ eipiyrut, iffiuty Twy Xpiartayuty cort* tov yap diro dyivvi" 
TOV Kal dp^{}TOV GcoO Aoyov, ^cra rby Gcov, irpofrKvyovfuy KoX 
dyaviifxeyy cttci^i) Kal ^i* fffidg ayOpwiros yiyoyty^ Sttwq Kal, t&v 
waOwy Twy fijieTeputy irvfji^TO\o£ yeyofnyog, mtriy irocj|oi|roc» 
Justin. Apol. ii. Oper. 

er. p^O. 


Apology^ even when he is expressly noticing the 
fancied Trinity of Plato. Here, as before, his 
avowed theory is : not that Christians could pro* 
perly be said to agree with the philosophic Pagans, 
for such an expression might seem to imply an 
act of borrowing on the part of Christians ; but, on 
the contrary, that, through imitation of the doc- 
trine professed by Christians, all the Platonists 
avowed what they did avow. 

It is not, that we hold the same opinions tvith 
<dhers, he asserts : but that all, through imitation, 
speak our tenets K 

The cautious inquirer will not fail to observe: 
that Justin, though, after the humour of the age, 
very anxious to discover the doctrine of the per- 
sonal Word and the Trinity in the old theology 
of Orpheus and in the recondite philosophy of 
Plato, never once expresses the least notion of 
borrowing it from those quarters, and of thence 
introducing it into Christianity. On the contrary, 
the whole tenor of his language is precisely opposed 
to the conduct which Dr. Priestley and others of 
the Antitrinitarian School would ascribe to him. 
According to this very hasty class of writers, 
Justin borrows the doctrine of the Word from 
Platonism, and thence introduces it into Christ- 

* Oir ro aind olv hiitiq AXKoiQ ^o£a^o/i€v» aXX' ol xdvrfc rcJ 
illimpa fUfjLovfuvoi Xiyovm, Justin. Apol. i. Oper. p. 73. See 
the entire passage cited above, book ii. chap. 6. § i. .'3. 


ianity : but, according to his own account of the 
matter, J\istin,Jinding that doctrine already taught 
by the Catechists of the Church from the inspired 
volume of the New Testament and from the then 
well remembered preaching of the Apostles, feels 
a strong desire to discover some vestiges of it also 
in the ancient theology of Orpheus and of Plato, on 
the avowed theory, that both Orpheus and Plato 
learned it in Egypt from the writings of Moses. 

2. The hypothesis, advocated by Clement of 
Alexandria, is exactly the same as the hypothesis 
of Justin . Plato and Pythagoras are the borrowCTS 
from Moses and the prophets : not Justin and 
Clement, from Plato and Pythagoras. 

Plato remarks: god, as also the ancient dis- 
course TEACHES, comprehends THE BEGINNING AND 

O Plato, did you thm darkly set forth the truth 9 — 


THAN THOSE. Truly I well know your teachers, 
though you may ztish to conceal them. — From the 
Hebrews you have borrowed, both all your good laws, 
and your opinion respecting the Deity \ 

* 'O fJiev ^i) 0coc» ^<nr£p koL 6 TraXaiog \6yoQ, dp\i^v koI rf- 
Xcvri^v Kol fiitra ruiy ovnav Inrdyrtiiy t-^^ioy, — lldOey, cS UXdrmy^ 
dK^Btidy alylrrri ; — ^(pwrepd, ^i^o'i, rovrtay fiapfldpwy ra yf wf. 
OlW vov TOVQ di^aaKdXovgf Kay diroKpvfrreiy iOiXrig. — Ni^^ovc 
^^ n>vc &901 dXriduQf Kal ^d^ay r^v tov Qeov, Trap avrQy <!»^iXi|- 
«^« r^¥ 'E/3pacaiv. Clem. Alex. Admon. ad Gent. Oper. p. 


Pythagoras transferred largely from our Scrip- 
tures into his own system of dogmatic philosophy. 
Far Numenius, the pythagorian philosopher, undis* 
gmsediy writes: what is plato^ save moses at-, 


The philosophers of the Greeks, mthout acknow^ 
ledging their obligations, borrowed the best of their 
dogmata from Moses and the prophets^. 

IV. With respect to What has been denominated 
the Trinity of Plato ; however its component 
members may be enumerated, it certainly is no 
Triad of three distinct persons. 

According to Justin Martyr, the three principles 
of the greek philosopher were God and Matter and 
Farm: to which he sometimes added a fourth, 
under the title of Hie Soul of -the Universe^. But 

* UvOayopag woWa TtHv Trap* fifity fxereviyicag etc r^v lavrov 
ioyfiaroTTodar. Novfc//vioc o Tlvday6p£iOi ^(Xciao^oc dyriKpvg 
yp6f€i* Tc yap ttrri TLXaTuv, rj MiMxnjg dTTiKl(wv ; Clem. Alex. 
Strom, lib. i. Oper. p. 342. 

* KAcurac XiyetrOai rovg riSy 'EXX^voiv ^iXoao^vcy ^rapa Mbi- 

Oi^MC f^ol Tkiv WpO^flTkiv TO, KVplkfTUTa tUv SoyfiaTtify ohx tifXCL" 

plarti£ tl\rf^6rag. Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. v. Oper. p. 550. 

* Tov yap UXarwvoc rpcic dp\dQ tov irayrog elvai XiyoyroQ, 
Btoy ifoi*YXiyv i:ai El^oc* Qioy fxev, roy irdyrwy Troiijr^v "YXiyv 
^£, ri^y hwoKttfiiyfiy r^ irpwrp rQy yeyofiiyoty yeyitreif Kai r^v 
wp6faeiy airr^ r^c BrifJttovpylac vapiy^ovaay El^c ^^y to kicde" 
rov rmy yiyofuyvy wapd^iiyfta. Justin. Cohort, ad Grsec. Oper. 
p. 5. 

*0 y* diy Ukdrwy Tork fiey TptiQ dpxdg rod Trayrog tlyai Xi- 
ycc, Gf^K rac *YX»fv Kal EKoc* irore ie riatrapaqy irpoerriBriei yap 
•H^y Ka06\ov ^vx^^* Justin. Cohort, ad Greec. Oper. p. 6. 


Porphyry exhibits Plato's second and third prin* 
ciples^ as being active instead of passive : whenoB 
he sums up the entire three, as the Highest Good 
God, the Second Creative God, and the SmU of 
the World ^ And this last statement of the specu- 
lation seems to be feivoured by the language of 
Plato himself: for, mentioning them altogether in 
his second epistle to Dionysius, he denominates 
his three divine principles. Essential Goodness, and 
Creative Intellect, and The Universal Mundane 

Now, in the Triad of Plato, some of the early 
Fathers wished to discover a real though corrupted 
declaration of the three persons of the Trinity: 
and the theory, upon which they proceeded, was 
avowedly the following. 

The doctrine of the Trinity, they maintained, 
so far from being an invention of Plato, was in 
truth a primitive patriarchal revelation of the 
divine nature. This primitive revelation was, with 
a more ample development, confirmed under the 
Gospel. Plato, meanwhile, had corruptedly bor- 
rowed its outline from the writings of Moses and 

1 IIop^vpcoc yap 0i70'(» UXdrtayoc tKriQifuvoQ ^6iiar* "A^pc 
Tpuiiv vwoerrdtnwy ttiv tov Oiiov irpoeXOeiy ovaiav* elvac h€ row 
fjiiy dyufrdriii Gcov rdyaQoy* fier avroy Be koI hevrepoy^ ror ^^• 
fitovpydy' rplroy ^e koI r^v tov KdtrfJLOv "^v^^iy* a^pi yap "^v^fc 
T^y QuoTTiTa wpoeXOtiy. Cyril, cont. Julian, lib. i. p. 34. 

' See Cudworth's Intellect. Syst. book i. chap. 4. p. 406 — 


the Prophets* Consequently, men need not won- 
der to have found a prominent dogma, both of 
the ancient Hebrew Church and of its successor 
the Christian Church, in the Works of a specu* 
lative Greek, who had been largely conversant 
with the Orientals \ 

^ ^Qffn A($7y Qeov ix rdv vroKBifieytity Kal irpd^riKwQivTiav 
itd Mi#arcii»c» yeytPVfiffBai tov icdvra K6<rfiov, koI HXdrwy, ical oi 
mvra Xeyovrec, xal fifiud IfidSofieVf ical vfxei^ jrBiadijyai ZvvaaBt* 
— "Kal TO iy rf irapd nXarwvc Tc/Lcac^ ^vfnoXoyovfieyoy irepl tov 
Ylov TOV Ocov, OTi Xiycfy *^\La9€y avroy ky Tf irayrl' irapa Miih 
#^C Xu^y, hfioitag eTirev. — Tr^y /icra roy Tpurroy Qtoy Bvyafiiy 
KtxjtdifBou iy Tf iravrl cTtc Kai to tlfrtiy ahroy TptToy, ItreiH^, 
i#C vpotlirofjLey^ lirayta T&y v^dzMy 6,yiyyw vko Muffiiac ^^^ 
ftivor iwiifipioBcu to tov Qeov Uyevfia* BevTtpay fiey yap \(upay 
ry wapk Oeov Adyy, hy Kt)(iaa6ai iy Tf irayrl c^i}, ^i^w<n' Tfly 
^c TpiTifyf Tf Xt^dim iiri<l^ipetr6ai t^ vhaTi 11 vcv/xari, eiTrwv, Td 
li TpiTa irepl Toy Tphoy, Justin. Apol. i. Oper. p. 72, 73. 

Kac UXdTtay 3e, /jiera Toy Qtoy koi rj)v "YXtyv, to EWoc TpiTrjy 
itpX^y iJpai Xcywvy ohx &KXodty wSSty, dXXa irapa Mtiivtriute Tifv 
Tp6^eiy tlKfifitc ^lytTai, Jostin. Cohort, ad Grsec. Oper. 
p. fl2. 

^Ap' oiy 6 Toy 6iEipy Novy i:ac \6yf KaTaXafxfiayofieyoy Trcpc- 
yofi^ae Ocovy Kal ra ixitnffifiefiriK&ra ahr^ i^eiweiyf to oyrbfc ov, 
t6 fioyo<pv€Qf TO iiyaOov dir altTOv dwoxedfieyoy, Sirep itrrl aXi}- 
0eta* icai irepl wpirrriQ Svydfitufg' Kal wg ntpl Toy irdyTbfy j3ao't« 
Xea mgyTa core, Kal eKelvov tyexty irdyra, Kal eKeiyog airioy Tcdy^ 
r*»r, KoX xcpi Ivo Kal Tpla' htvTtpov he inpl Td htvTepa, Kal Tphoy 
rtpH Td Tpha* vepl rSy eK T&y aiaOriTdy yfjg re Kal ovpayov Xcyo- 
fiirkfy yeyoviyaiy fxeli^oy rj Kad^ kavToy rdXtiSeg fxadely eyofiitrey ; 
Athenag. Legat. § xxi. p. 92, 93. 

XitnrA yap IIXaVa>va' &yriKpvg oItoc, ey r^ irpog *Epd(rroy Kal 
KopiffKoy iTi&ToX^y 0aiverac Ilarepa Kal Yloy, ovk olS* oira>£, £ic 


Such was their theory, by which they would 
account for the appearance of a remarkable specu- 

rQv *£j3paifcc!iv ypai^wy Ifn^lytayi irapareXev($/iei«c Kara Xe{ci^ 

'Exo/ivuvrac tnrov^j re &fia fjifl dfiov^f, koI rfJQ ffirovS^C diekfij 

iraiBei^y roy irdyruy Qeoy air toy f Kal rov 'ttyefiSyoc Kal Acr/ov 

Haripa, Kvpioy cirofcvvvrac* idy opOdc ^cXoflro^^oi|rc, ec9C«6le. 

"Hre iy Tifiaif Iff^oyopLa Haripa xaXei rby Ai^^tovpyov, \iyovoa 

i^e irwQ' Gcoi dcciiv, Jv lyi»t Ilar^p, dktjfiiovpy6c re tpymy, ^Qart 

jcaiy cTCiv Ciin;* IIcpl rov irdyrufy /SaaiXca xavra cot<» KaKtiyw 

eyeKiy rd irdyra' KUKelyo airioy kwdyruy KoXwy* Bevrepoy Ht 

irepl rd ^evnpa* Kal rpLroy^ rrtpl rd rpira" ovk ciXXmc eywyc c(a« 

Kovw, 11 rr^y * Ay lay Tpid^a fiJiyveaBaC rpiroy fuy yap cltfu, to 

"Ayiov Tlyevfia* roy Ywy Be, htitrtpoy^ Bi oZ wdrra eycvcro Kurd 

/3ovXf}o'iv rov llarp6i, Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. v. Oper. p. 598, 

Ilvdaydpac ^e ical IlXdrwv, ^carerpi^orec c^' Aiyvxry, koX iroX- 

Xoic rote oi'rcJCi Tepirvyxdyoyre^, Are BrI ^tXojLUxOc^rarw re orre 

Kal ^CKdtaroptf oifK ifyyofi^rdrriy rify "M-wiiac dperfiy* — T^yredBtrf 

oJfiaiy roy «ep2 Ocov X6yov oi/K dic6fA\l^utQ iKfiifAaOriK&raQf cvcfc- 

Kiartp6y taic vapd rovg aXXovc rd irepi ahrou ^o^aaaci ral /ij^y 

Kal kXiadai tj^poyeiy. — IIop^vpioc yap (^riffif HKdrtayoi iKriOifuyoQ 

Bo^ay "A^pt rpiwy virotrrdattav r^v rov Qtiov TrpotKdeiy ovaiav* 

eJyai Be roy fiey dywrdruf Qeoy rdya06y' fier airroy Be Kal Bevrc" 

poy^ roy Aijfccovpydv' rpiroy Be Kal r^v rov Kdvfxov ^v)(//f* ^xp* 

ycip "itvxvc Tfly Qetdrrira irpoeXdely, ^iBov Bil ao^c ^y rovroic% 

a\pi rpitay vTrotrrdaewy rffy rov Qelov irpoeXdely ohalay^ iiryvpife" 

rai. Elc fiey yap eariy ordy oXtiiy 0£(Jc* Karevpvyerai Be Cairtp 

ii wept avrov yyfjiaig eig *Ayiay re Kal *Ofioov(nov TpidBa* etc re 

Haripa, 0>;/liI, Kal Yiov, Kai^Aytoy Tlyevfiay o Kal "^vy^iiy rov 

KOfffjiov <l>ri<Tly 6 HXdriay, — Kal irdXiy 6 ahrog Hoptftvpioc vepl 

HXdrtiiyoQ' Aco ey dirofiprirois irepl rovrtay alyirrofieyoQ t^tiffC 

Hepl roy fiatriXea irdyra earl, Kal eKelyov eyeKa irdyra, Kal eKelyo 

airtov irdyrtay KoXtay, Bevrepoy Be wepi rd Bevrepa, Kal rpiroy xcpi 

rd rplra' wc yap TraVrwv fxey irepL rovg rpelg oyrtay QeovQ, eiXX» 

HBfi Kpjmijciiey Tepl roy Tayrwy fiatrtXea, BevrepWQ Be irepl roy 

itl Tc^mjcji 


lation in the writings of a gentile philosopher. 
But, as for borrowing the doctrine of the Trinity 
from the Triad of Plato and thence introducing it 
into the primitive Christian Church; which is 
the wild hjrpothesis of the modem Antitrinitarian 
School : we have no evidence whatsoever^ that such 
a notion at any time entered into their heads, or 
that such a mutuation was ever adopted in prac- 
tice. In truth, to speak more accurately, this 
strange phantasy is not only negatively unsupported 
by any testimony, but it is even positively contra- 
dieted by a mass of evidence the most complete 
and the most overwhelming. For, since we have 
direct proof, that Justin and Ireneus and Athena- 
goras and Clement and TertuUian found the doc- 
trine of the Trinity already from the very first 
existing in the Church : it is obvious, that, by no 
possibility, could they have borrowed and intro- 
duced, as a hitherto unheard of novelty, this iden- 
tical doctrine into the Church. 

Under the presumption, in short, that the greek 
philosophers stole largely from Moses and the Pro- 
phets, the early Fathers seem to have been fond 
o{ discovering fancied affinities. But here the mat- 

dir iKtivoy QeoVf Kal rpiru)^ wept tov diro tovtov, AeB^iXtaKe ^i 
tfu^lytify Kai ri^v cj dWiiXioy vTroerraaiVf dp^ofjitvoQ diro tov j3ao'c- 
XiciiC* J^a^ Ttiv vTTofiaaiv Koi vfj^effiv rwy fierd to irpwToyy hd tov 
wpitTta^ Koi ZtvriputQ koX TpiTUfQ tlireiy, Kai on c£ eyoc Ta irdyTa, 
KvX it avTov (rwl^€Tai, Cyril. Alex. cont. Julian, lib. i. 
p. 29, 34. 


ter ended. Their conduct closely resembled the 
conduct of various modern writers among onr* 
selves, who have fancied that they could detect 
vestiges of the Trinity of Scripture in the Triads of 
Paganism. My own persuasion is : that not the 
slightest connection subsists between them, and 
that the Triads of the Gentiles originated from a 
totally different source K But, whether my in- 
dividual persuasion be well founded or ill founded, 
even a Horsley has condescended to tread in the 
steps of the early ecclesiastical speculatists : for, 
nearly after their fashion, he has adventured to 
trace the christian dogma, in the Mysteries of 
Orpheus and Pythagoras, in the traditional state- 
ment of Plato, in the secrets of the Egyptian 
Priesthood, in the theology of Persia and Chaldda, 
in the Orgies of the Samothracian Cabiri, and in 
the joint adoration of the three great gods of the 
Roman Capitol \ 

How, then, stands the real question? Truly, 
those ingenious theorists of the Antitrinitarian 
School, who, because Justin and the early Fathers 
discovered the doctrine of the Trinity in the writ- 
ings of Plato, thence rapidly advance to the con- 

' The Triads of the Gentiles, with a singular mixture of Sa- 
bianism and Materialism, originated, as the legends attached to 
them distinctly shew, from the three sons of Adam, viewed as 
transmigratively re-appearing in the three sons of Noah. See 
inv Origin of Pagan Idolatry, book i. chap. 1 . 

• Hp. Horsley's Cha rge^ ^ II. «• Tracts, p. 43, 44. 


dnsioD, that Justin and the early Fathers hammed 
and mtradttced the doctrine into the primitive 
Church: truly, those ingenious theorists, among 
whom shines out preeminently the Historian of 
the Corruptions of Christianity, might with equal 
cc^ncy, on the self-same principles, demonstrate ; 
that, because Bishop Horsley discovered the doc* 
trine of the Trinity in the Triads of Paganism, he 
most indubitably from that quarter borrowed and 
introduced the doctrine into the hitherto antitrini- 
tarian Church of England. 

It is not unworthy of note, that, when Celsus, 
in the second century, for the purpose of depre- 
dating the Gospel^ had alleged, not merely (like 
Dr. Priestley) against the Christians of that day, but 
even against Christianity itself, that it had largely 
borrowed from the philosophers and especially from 
Plato: Origen, who answered him in the third 
century, treated the whole of this attack as a mere 
baseless calumny^, on the ground; that, what 
Celsus would refer to Plato or to Heraclitus, had 
been said, long before their time, by the ancient 
hebrew prophets ^ 

I may add, what is somewhat remarkable, that, 
although Celsus adduced from Plato the same 
passage as that which is also adduced by Justin 
and Clement and Athenagoras and Cyril, he did 

' " AKXriv KiXcov Karriyopiav, 

* Orig. cont. Cels. lib. vi. p. 283—293. 


not bring it forward for the purpose of shewing 
that Christiam had borrowed from Plato the doc- 
trine of the Trinity, as they brought it forward for 
the purpose of shewing that Plato had borrowed 
that doctrine from Moses and the Prophets: but he 
adduced it, simply in order to intimate, that some 
of the magnificent scriptural descriptions of thepomer 
and majesty of God fell short of it in dignity and 
sublimity \ 

* Tavra ^ fiyritrafxriy fipayia dwo irXeiarwv otrkfvrwy wepl Oeov 
roig lEpoig dydpatn vevorifiivutv wapaditrOai, ^eiryvci ori r&y dav 
fiatrdiyrttfy xnro Ki\(rov irXariaytxQv \6ywy i^ei re atfiyorepoyf 
roic t^ovaiy oijiOaXfiovg pkiviiy ra cifjiya rwy ypa^r ivya* 
fiiyovCf ra upa Twy vpiXJtriTuiy ypdfXfiara, 

"Ex" B* fi HXcLTutyog Xi^tg, fjy 6 KeX^oc HiOeTO^ rovror roy 

TLtpl Toy irayriay patriKia irdyr* itnl, Kal Ixelyov tytxa wayrUf 
Koi tKeiyo air toy hwayrwy KoXiHy. Aevrepoy ^e, irtpl r6. ievrepa" 
Kal rpiToy^ wepl rd rplra, Orig. conU Cels. lib. vi. p. 287, 288. 



That The doctrine of a Trinity was taught andmain^ 
tained by the Fathers of the early Church : is a fact, 
which at length it has been found impossible abso- 
lutely to deny. 

Under such circumstances, for the purpose of 
avoiding the consequence which from this incon- 
trovertible fact 80 obviously results ; the conse- 
quence, namely, that. If the doctrine of a Trinity 
was publicly taught and maintained by the Fathers 
of the early Church, the early Church, of which they 
were the accredited teachers, and with which they 
were always in unreproved communion, must herself 
also, from the very beginning, have held that doctrine^: 

* Mr. Lindsey, as we have seen, fully acknowledges : that, 
what the Fathers of the three first centuries held and taught, 
all christian people, by a necessary consequence, must also have 
held. This he acknowledges : the only question therefore is, 
what those Fathers did teach. See above, book ii, chap. 6. in 



under such circumstances, the writers of the 
Antitrinitarian School are wont to contend : that 
The Trinity, as^rst introduced and received into 
the Church, long, most xtndely and most vitally, d^^ 
feredfrom the Trinity of more modem Christianity; 
for, though THE son's perfect equalftt with the 
FATHER be the present approved scheme of orthodoxy ^ 
the original introducers and favourers of Trimtari- 
anism stoutly maintained the son's essential in* 


Now, by the very occurrence of cumulative dis- 
crepance, this matter, they allege, clearly marks 
the progress of corruption. 

When Trinitarianism, say they, was first ei^- 
grafted upon the simplicity of primitive Unitari- 
anism, no one ever asserted: that Christ is properly 
and essentially God. On the contrary, he was 
viewed in a light greatly inferior to the Father: 
and, instead of being deemed equal to him, he was 
considered rather as a sort of secondary and created 
God ; for, at the commencement of the corruption, 
the new theory was not very dissimilar to that sys- 
tem of doctrine, which, at a later period, received 
the name oiArianism. With respect to the fisivour- 
ite modern tenet of the perfect coEQUALmr and 


it was altogether unknown, until the huge fabric 
of gradual corruption was at length completed. 

Such a statement, even were it admissible, 
would not, so far as I can discern, materially serve 


the cause of modem Antitrinitarianism : for, if, on 
the one hand, it condemned Trinitarianism, as at 
present understood and received ; it would equally, 
on the other hand, condemn Antitrinitarianism, as 
now propounded and enforced by the School of 
Dr. Priestley. 

The early Fathers, quite up to the apostolic 
age, held and taught some doctrine of a Trinity. 
But, in whatever mode the early Fathers held the 
doctrine of a Trinity, in that same mode the 
Catholic Church from the very beginning must 
have held it. Consequently, let the precise doc- 
trine have been what it may, it could only, as 
having been universally received from the very 
beginning, have been introduced into the Church 
Catholic by the Apostles themselves. Hence, if 
we admit the divine inspiration of the Apostles 
(and, if we deny it, we entirely shift the ground of 
the afgnment) : modem Antitrinitarianism would 
be proved, even by the present statement, to be a 
palpable departure frx>m the primitive £Edth, quite 
as much as, though in an opposite direction to, 
modem Trinitarianism. 

Let this, however, pass: and let us hear the 
determination put forth by the Historian of the 
Conuptions of Christianity. 

We find, upon all occasions; that the early Christ-' 
ion Writers speak of the Father as superior to t/ie 
Sam : and, ifi general, they give him the title of god, 
as distinguished from tlie Son ; and sometimes they 



expressly call him, exclusively of the Son, the only 
TRUE GOD : a phraseology, which does not at all accord 
mth the idea of the perfect equality of all the per^ 
sons in the Trinity. But it might well be expected, 
that the advances to the present doctrine of the 
Trinity should be gradual and slow. It ttas, indeed, 
some centuries before it was completely formed *. 

Thus speaks Dr. Priestley: and, forthwith 
adopting the speculation advanced by the His- 
torian, his implicit follower the Barrister eagerly 
promulgates it afresh with increasing confidence- 
Having stated anew the discoveries of his prede- 
cessor, that TertuUian and Origen confess and 
lament the horror with which the bulk of their 
contemporaries viewed the then novel doctrine 
of Christ's divinity, he proceeds in the following 

Though we are not to consider the Fathers as 
AUTHORITIES in the interpretation of the Scriptures, 
but are bound to examine and judge for ourselves: 
yet we cannot avoid considering their testimony to 
be of great weight, when they are relating matters 
of fact ; more particularly when they are facts miJi* 
tating against tlieir own peculiar opinions. Which, 
we must bear in mind too, shocking as they then apn 
peared to the great body of plain unlettered Christ-' 
hns who at that time constituted the majority of 

* IViciU«y*« Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 3. Works, vd. ▼. 


believers, tvere much less calculated to shock tlieir 
minds, than those which succeeded them in the course 
of another century; as one corruption paved the 
^oyjor, and was closely followed by, another. For 
the Trimty of the Fathers of that period, as declared 
by themselves (of which I can produce very clear 
and satisfactory proofs from their own writings), 
consisted of three unequal persons, of whom the 
Father was supreme ^ 

Like his prototype Dr. Priestley, the Barrister 
has unhappily fallen into the delusive habit, of 
hastily catching up a promising expression, and of 
forthwith expecting it to do wonders for the cause 
which he has unguardedly been led to espouse. 
Without once stopping to examine the drift or 
context of the place, he incontinently notes it 
down as a very clear and satisfactory proof of the 
point to be established : and then rapidly sends it 
forth into the world, totally pretermitting and ap- 

' Letters by another Barrister, p. 282, 283. The reader will 
recollect, that the great body of plain unlettered Christians, 
whom the Barrister represents as shocked at the doctrine of 
Chrises divinity, were, in truth, certain ignorant individuals, 
who, by Praxeas, had been seduced, from the primeval doctrine 
of the Trinity in Unity, to the monstrous novelty of believing : 
that Christ himself, exclusively, is the sole supreme unipersonal 
Deity; who, in respect to his different functions or offices, variously 
assumed the several mere titles of Father and Son and Spirit. 
See above, book ii. chap. 5, Such is the manner, in which ancient 
ecclesiastical history is read and propounded by the doctors of 
the modern Antitrinitarian School ! 


parently having never read those other explana- 
tory passages, which, if adduced, would have inn 
mediately shewn, that his merely partial and atteriy 
misunderstood authority was nothing to the pur- 

This unfortunate propensity of the Historiao 
and the Barrister, I have already had occasion to 
notice, in more than a single instance, as Athanasius 
and TertuUian and Origen and Justin successively 
passed before us in masquerading habits which 
might well have concealed them from the sagacity 
of even maternal inspection. I have now to per- 
form the task of exhibiting another specimen oi 
the same very mischievous and very reprehensible 

Our two authors, it seems, are quite sure: that 
The Trinity of the early Ecclesiastics, as declared 
by themselves (of which the Barrister can produce 
very clear and satisfactory proofs from their own 
writings), wa^ very different from the Trinity of 
the modern Catholic Church; for the Trinity of the 
former consisted of three unequal persons, among 
whom the Father is supreme ; while the Trinity of 
the latter consists of three eqval persons, among 
whom the Father is not supreme. 

The knowledge of ancient Theology, and the 
knowledge of modem Theology, possessed by Dr. 
Priestley and the Barrister, may justly, in point of 
extent and accuracy, be pronounced much about 


L With respect to the doctrine, reaUy held by 
the old Ecclesiastical Writers in regard to the 
mode of the Deit/s subsistence, it may be briefly 
stated in manner following. 

The perfect Unity of the Godhead subsists, as an 
tuktivided and mutually inherent Trinity. But, in 
the divine Trinity, there is an orderly gradation of 
cansubstantial and coetemal and coequal persons, 
with an economical distribution of covenanted offices. 

1. This primitive doctrine, which plainly in- 
volves the two ideas of equality under one aspect 
and of INEQUAUTT under another aspect, it may be 
useful to state somewhat more largely under the 
form of separate propositions. 

(1.) In regard to the double nature of Christ, 
divine and human, the ancient writers taught as 

7%^ Son is EQUAL to the Father, as touching his 
godhead. But he is inferior to the Father, as 
touching his manhood 

(2.) In regard to the Trinity, when viewed ab- 
stractedly from the humanity of the Son as that 
Trinity was believed to have existed before the 
incarnation of the divine Word, the following was 
their doctrine. 

Essentially or physically, the three divine consub- 
stantial persons are equal. But there is a gra- 
datum in them, which places the Father first in 

For the Father is God of himself or The Unde- 


rived Fountain of Deity : and, therefwe, he is so far 


The Son is God from the Father, eternal Ema* 
nation from eternal Light, true God from true God. 

And the Holy Ghost is God from the Father and 
from the Son, eternally by the Son proceeding from 
the Father : so that the Father and the Son are one 
God in the urdty of the Spirit K 


^ The titles of AMOeog and Ili^yi) Q€6mroCf which by the 
early ecclesiastical writers are so often bestowed upon the Fa* 
ther, are not so bestowed (as Dr. Priestley and the Barrister 
seem to have fancied) for the purpose of excluding the Son and 
the Holy Spirit from full participation of essential and perfect 
and actual divinity, but simply for the purpose of setting ferth 
the Father as the underived fountain of Godhead : a character 
of independent Auiotheum, which they judged inapplicable 
either to the Son or to the Spirit, and which in truth if so ap- 
plied would as its inevitable result bring out the doctrine of 
absolute separated Tritheism. 

Ol^ey oZy ahro (scil. to HyEVfia) jcai vTrop^ov i^iOor/ordrMC* 
Kol rd Trdvra 'Cwoizoiovv Koi Tpi<j>oyf Kal wg cj ayiag irify^c i^f^rif- 
fiiroy Tov Oeov Kal TJarpdc' irp6et(ri yap c( ahrov rara ^vaiy^ koX 
It Yiov j(ppriyuTat r^ Krltrei. Cyril, Alex, cont. Julian, lib. i. 
p. 35. 

' The Latins held, that the Spirit proceeds from the Father 
and from the Son : the Greeks held, that the Spirit proceeds 
from the Father by tJie Son. 

In the text, I have embodied both these two ideas : which 
are by no means incompatible ; but which, the latter being ex** 
planatory of the former, ultimately and effectively, so far as I 
can see, amount to the same doctrine. 

On the principle that the Father alone is the AvroOeog and 
the IIi;yi^ Qeorrirog, I should say : that the expression, From 


(3.) In regard to the economical distribution of 
covenanted offices, they further taught in manner 

the Father by the Son^ is perhaps the most strictly accurate. In 
either case, the doctrine is the same. 

I may add : that the phraseology, preferred hy the Greeks, 
seems, if we may so conjecture from its adoption hy Tertul- 
lian, to have been familiar even in the Latin Church of the 
second century. 

Hoc mihi et in tertium gradum dictum sit,, qui Spiritum non 
aliunde puto, quam a Patre per Filium. Tertull. adv. Prax. 
} S. Oper. p. 406. 

The inseparable junction, of the three nevertheless distinct 
persons in the Godhead, through the unity of the Spirit, is very 
dearly set forth by Athenagoras, who flourished about the year 

"Brdfi OFTOC Tov Karpoc Koi rod Xlov' ovtoq ^c tov Xiov iv Ilarp^ 
nl Ilarpoc iv tlf, €y6rtiri Kal Zvyaym VLvtviiaroQ, Athenag. 
L^at. § ix. Oper. p* d8. 

This mutual inherency of the three divine persons in one 
Godhead was conventionally styled their TrepixofpritriQ. 

From the acknowledged fact of such inherency, I conceive : 
dial, when we speak of the Father being the Avro6coc and the 
ILfyi) Oc^ri|roc> and when we say that the Son derives his sub- 
listence by generation from the Father ; we must be under- 
ttood, as using that language solely with reference to the mutual 
rdatioDS of the persons in the Trinity. 

As the Son, conjointly with the Father and the Spirit, is The 
Smpreme Numen : he is, I apprehend, under this aspect, self-ex- 
uUmt ; whence, accordingly, we find him denominated Jehovah. 

But, as the Son is, personally^ the second in gradation : he 
I conceive, under thai aspect, his subsistence from the 

If we deny the Son's numenical self-existence, we deny him 


The San, as the Word or commumcatwe Qrack 
or delegated Messenger of the Father, is, to the 
Father, qfficially inferior. And the Holy Spkit, 
as sent both by the Father and by the Son, is, both 
to the Father tmd to the Son, qffieiaUy inferior » 
Uke manner also. 

But then this inferiority^ on the part of the Son 
and of the Spirit, is purely official, not phynad or 
essential. For it is the sort of voluntary infe- 
riority which AN equal assumes, when he freely 
agrees to act as the messenger of an equal, or when 
he freely consents to be delegated by an equal. 

2. Such is the inequauty, associated with 
equality, which was held and taught by the doc- 
tors of the primitive Church. Whether they were 
right, or whether they were wrong, in their views : 
this, in point of fact, was their doctrine. 

(1.) With respect to the first of these three 
kinds of inequality, it requires not that any par- 
ticular observation should be made upon it. For 
it springs, inevitably, from the doctrine of the two- 
fold nature of the Son, subsequent to the incarna- 

If the Son be perfect man, as well as perfect 
God ; which, in all ages, the Catholic Church has 

to be Jehovah : for the very import of that name is The Se^* 

If we deny the Son's personal derivation from the Father, 
thus ascribing indep6||M^Mr«oiMil self-existence to all the three 
hypostases alik^M^^^Hhikljr nm into direct Tritheism. 


maiiitaiiied : then it will clearly follow ; that, as 
man, he must be inferior to the Father; and 
that, as God, he must be equal to the Father. 

(3.) With req^ct to the second of them, it sets 
forth, not an inequauty of nature itself in the 
three persons of the Trinity, but an orderly gra- 
dation IN A mutually common NATURE. 

No words can perfectly convey to our minds a 
distmct conception of the Deity's mode of exist- 
ence in unity : but the phraseology of Scripture, 
borrowed as it is from relations which are tho- 
roughly fftmiliar to us, most amply warrants the 
doctrine of the primitive Church on the present 

In the mutual heavenly relationship of the two 
first persons of the Trinity, there must be some 
analogy to the mutual earthly relationship of 
father and son ; or the terms. Father and Son, we 
may be sure, would never have been adopted : for, 
without the actual existence of some analogy, the 
use of the terms could only serve to mislead ^ 

Respecting the case, then, of an earthly &ther 
and son, when they are jointly viewed with refer- 
ence to all other classes of physically inferior 
beings ; then, as being mutually consubstantial or 
as partaking of a mutually common nature, they 
are undoubtedly equal: yet, when, in gradation 
and in office, they are severally viewed with refer- 

^ See below, append, ii. numb. 10. 


ence to each other; then, they are certainly u$h 

Now, utterly imperfect as the resemblance may 
be ; yet, as they were contemplated by the early 
Fathers of the Church, the same mode of reoMoih 
ing, at least, is applicable to the two first persons 
of the Trinity : and, beyond this. Scripture does 
not authorise us to extend the comparison. 

The only-begotten Son, being of the same sub- 
stance or of the same physical substratum with 
his eternal Father ; a form of speech finally adopted 
to meet the evasions of the Arians, though both 
the very name of conmbstanttality had been fre- 
quently used, and though the doctrine of comulh 
stantiality had certainly been held by all the 
antenicene catholic theologians : must, as such, 
be essentially equal to him. But, in gradation of 
order, the Father being the underived fountain of 
deity, while the eternal Son has never not been 
born of the eternal Father ; and, in subordination 
of office, the Son being the messenger of the Fa- 
ther, while the Father is the sender of the Son : 
under such an aspect, the Son must doubtless be 
pronounced (as indeed he himself most expressly 
declared ^, and as, accordingly, the early theolo^ 
gians did pronounce him) inferior to the Fathen 

(3.) With respect to the third kind of inequa-. 
LiTY, it leaves the essential equality of the divine 

^ Jolin xiv. 28. 


three wholly untouched : for it is, in truths a mere 
voluntary inequality of covenanted offices. 

3. It may be useful to observe, that, when the 
ancients treated of the second of these three kinds 
of iNEQiTALiTT, they wcrc very fond of using such 
phy^cal illustrations as clearly shew; that they 
held the consubstanticUity or common nature of the 
three persons in the Trinity, while at the same 
time they maintained the doctrine of an orderly 
gradation : and, in like manner, when they treated 
of the third kind of inequality, they scrupled not, 
under tfUs aspect also, to pronounce the physically 
equal Son officially inferior to the Father. 

The general system of doctrine, in short, which 
they held, and which with the Catholic Church at 
large they invariably professed to have received in 
regular succession from the Apostles, inevitably 
produced, and always must produce, the language^ 
which has been so lamentably misapprehended by 
Dn Priestley and the Barrister. 

Under some certain aspects, the Son is equal to 
the Father: under other certain aspects, the Son is 
INFERIOR to the Father. 

This was the doctrine of the early theologians : 
and its necessary consequence was, that they used 
language, which, from a slovenly neglect of really 
examining their writings, had led the Historian 
and the Barrister to adopt and to print the crude 
speculation ; that The ancient doctors of the 
Church held a Trinity of essentially unequal 

288 THE AP06T0UCITT Z^^^^ ^« 

persons, among whom the Father is phybicallt 


Now this opinion they never maintained : nor, 
in fact, consistently with their avowed principles, 
was it even possible, that they could maintain it 
For those, who taught the physical consubstan- 
TiALiTT of the three divine persons, could not, 
without a palpable self-contradiction, teach also 
their essential inequality. 

The Works, however, of the ancient doctors 
are open to the writers of the modem Antitrinita^ 
rian School. Let such writers, then, if they be 
able, produce, from the Works of those alleged 
maintainers of a physically unequal Trinity, Jus- 
tin (to wit) and Athenagoras and Irendus and 
TertuUian and Clement of Alexandria, a single 
passage : in which the Son is pronounced to be 
inferior to the Father, and in which the Father 
is asserted to be supreme with reference to the 
two other divine persons, on the specific ground ; 
that The nature or substance of the Father differs 
from and is superior to the nature or substance of 
the Son and of the Spirit. 

Whenever the admirers of Dr. Priestley can do 
this, they will have eflFected their purpose : but, 
certainly, the labours of that Historian and his 
follower the Barrister, by which they claim to 
have shewn that the Trinity of tlwse early ante-- 
mcene xoriters consisted of three unequal persons 
among whom the Father is supreme, serve only to 


three wholly untouched : for it is^ in truths a mere 
volimtary inequality of covenanted offices. 

3. It may be useful to observe, that, when the 
ancients treated of the second of these three kinds 
of iNEQUALrrr, they were very fond of using such 
physical illustrations as clearly shew; that they 
held the conmbstantiaMty or common nature of the 
three persons in the Trinity, while at the same 
time they maintained the doctrine of an orderly 
gradation : and, in like manner, when they treated 
of the third kind of inequality, they scrupled not, 
under this aspect also, to pronounce the physically 
equal Son officially inferior to the Father. 

The general system of doctrine, in short, which 
they held, and which with the Catholic Church at 
large they invariably professed to have received in 
regular succession from the Apostles, inevitably 
produced, and always mttst produce, the language, 
which has been so lamentably misapprehended by 
Dr. Priestley and the Barrister. 

Under some certain aspects, the Son is equal to 
the Father: under other certain aspects, the Son is 
INPERIOR to the Father. 

This was the doctrine of the early theologians : 
and its necessary consequence was, that they used 
language, which, from a slovenly neglect of really 
examining their writings, had led the Historian 
and the Barrister to adopt and to print the crude 
speculation ; that The ancient doctors of the 
Church held a Trinity of essentially unequal 


mind, lie himself had within himself the Word, being 
eternally comprehensive of the Word»—Tke H(Af 
Spirit likewise, acting efficaciously in those who pro* 
phesy, we assert to be an emanation from GodfJUm^ 
ingfrom him and returning to Mm, as a ray of tie 
sun. Who, then, might not well think it strange; 
that we, who declare God the Father and God the 
Son and the Holy Spirit, shewing both their power 
in unity and their distinction in order, should yet be 
ccdled Atlieists^ 9 

' £i, ^C vwepliokily (rvyiaeuCf vcowiiv vfxiy txtiaiy, 6 Haic W 
(iovXtraif Ipw ^m fipa^iuy' irpwrov yiytnjfxa elyai rf HarpH, o&% 
«tfC yiy6fxeyoy i^ ap^^c yap 6 Gcocy yovs at^OQ Ay^ elxty ainvf 
ky iavrf tov AcJyov, iiihltaQ Xoyucog &y, — Kat roi rat olrro^ ri 
iytpycvy roit Ufffiayovai wpo^iiTuc^tf "Aytoy HyiVfiUf dir6fifauiv 
cTvac i^fiiy rov Qeov, dvop^ioy Ka\ iiraya^tpdfieyoyf wc dicrira 
ilXlov, Tig ovy ovk hy diropiiaaif Xiyoyrag Qeoy Haripa koi 
Yloy Oeoy icoi Ylyevfia "Ayiov, SiiKyvyraQ avrwv Koi r^v iy rjf 
iydtati ^vyafiiy Ka\ Tr^v iy r^ ra{ci ^latpeo'cv, dKovtrng dOiovQ ca- 
* XovfiiyovQ ; Athenag. Legat. § x. p. d8 — 40. 

The clause, Elx^ ahrbg ky tavrf Toy Aoyoy^ ac^iwc Xoyuroc 
wK, is untranslateable, so as to preserve the turn of the origmal. 
I have done ray best : but I have not succeeded. The argument 
of Athenagoras is this. 

God's personal Word is the Reason of God. But God is 
eternally rational, or eternally comprehensive of Reason. There* 
fore the Word or Reason of God is eternal also. 

The play upon the terms Aoyoc and XoyiKoc, in their greek 
acceptation, cannot be preserved in an english version. 

There is a parallel passage of Athanasius, which may senre 
to elucidate this of Athenagoras. 

^Qy iffTty dtiioQ 6 Geoc* "Oyrog oZy dil rov Ilarpoc, cffrc col 
dii'wQ Koi TO rovTOv dvavyavfia^ oirep kariv 6 Aoyoc airrov. Kol 


The Father and the Sofi ami the Holy Ghost, 
Etys Tertullian, are three : not in state, but in 
egree ; not in substance, but inform ; not in power, 
ut in kind. For they are of one substance, and of 
ne state, and of one power : because God is one ; 
Tom whom these degrees and forms and kinds are 
^qmted, in the name of the Father and of the Son 
wd of the. Holy Ghost \ Whatever comes forth 

^fXty 6 S»v Geoc €{ aWov koX ovra tov A.6yov ex^^* ^^^ ^^^^ ^ 
l^yoc IwiyiyoviVf oltK wy irportpov* ovri 6 nan)p tiXoyog Jjy 
frCa *H yap arara tov Ylov roX/ia tig tov Ilarcpa r^y /SXatr^i}- 
my dvdyeif liye t^utSey itrtyo-qaEv avrif aot^iay koX Aoyoy Kai 
far, Athan. Orat. ii. cont. Arian. Oper. vol. i. p. 154. Cora- 
d. 1600. 

Tim 6Xoyo^ of Athanasius is evidently the opposite to the 
uic of Athenagoras. 

^wtoUiaii haa imitated, in Latin, the same form of phrasc- 
j and the aame peculiar line of argument, 
ite omnia enim Deus erat solus, ipse sibi et mundus ct 
et omnia: solus autem, quia nihil extrinsecus praeter 
i CBteram ne tunc quidem solus : habebat enim secum, 
^kabdiat in lemetipso, Rationem suam scilicet. Rationalis 
Wjgone, ri Aoyueoc) enim Deus : et Ratio in ipso prius : 
•b ^pio omnia. Qusb Ratio sensus ipsius est, banc Grsci 
Tertull. adv. Prax. § 3. Oper. p. 407. 
argnment ia founded upon the double sense of 
I A^yoci which imports either Verbutn or Ratio, On 
He aenaei Athenagoras and others of the old Fathers 
Ito plaj* As the Father is eternally Xoyucoc* hia Adyoc 
I) rnnat be eternal also. 
'*igens,Patremet Filium et Spiritum Sancton 
*a, sed gradu ; nee substantia, sed 
unius autcm substantise, et 


o • 


from any tiling must needs he second to that, from 
which it does come forth : but yet it is not, on that 
account, separated. Now the second is, where there 
are two : and the third is, where there are three. 
For the third is the Spirit from God and the Son : 
even as the fruit from the tree is the third from the 
root; and as a runlet from the river is the third 
from the fountain ; and as the apex from the siim- 
beam is the third from the sun. Yet, from the ori- 
ginal whence it derives its proprieties, nothing is 
separated. Thus the Trinity, descending from the 
Father through united and connected gradations, 
both presents no obstacle to t/ie monarchy, and pre- 
serves the state of the economy ^ 

(2.) We may next attend to the primitive state- 
ment of that other mode of inequality, which re- 
sults from the hypostatical union of God and man 
in one Christ. 

et unius potestatis : quia unus Deus, ex quo et gradus isti et 
formae et species, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, 
deputantur. Tertull. adv. Prax. § 2. Oper. p. 406. 

^ Omne, quod prodit ex aliquo, secundum sit ejus necesse 
est de quo prodit : non ideo, tamen, est separatum. Secmidus 
autem ubi est, duo sunt : et, tertius ubi est, tres sunt. Terdus 
enim est Spiritus a Deo et Filio : sicut tertius a radice, fractus 
ex frutice ; et, tertius a fonte, rivus ex fiumine ; et, tertius a 
sole, apex ex radio. Nihil tamen a matrice alienatnr, ex qoa 
proprietates suas ducit. Ita Trinitas, per consertos et con* 
nexos gradus a Patre decurrens, et monarchiae nihil obstrepit, 
et oiVovofuac statum protegit. Tertull. adv. Prax. § 7. Oper. 
p. 409, 410. 


When, reacting the single person of the Son, 
says the ancient author of The Exposition of the 
Faith^ you hear contradictory ^declarations : divide, 
between Ins two natures, all such varying expres- 
eiom. If, for instance, any thing great and divine 
be said of him ; ascribe it to his divine nature ; if, 
an the other hand, any thing low and human be said 
of kim ; ascribe it to his human nature. Thus, each 
nature receiving its due, mil you avoid all contra^ 
dictoriness of language '• 

(3.) Finally let us observe the primitive state* 
ment of that third mode of inequaUty^ which 
results from the spontaneous economical accept- 
ance and discharge of office. 

Christ, says Tertullian^ is called the angel of 


this is a name of office, not of nature ^. 

He, who, being baptised among heretics, says 
Cyprian, can put on Christ : that person must be 
even yet more capable of receiving tlie Holy Spirit, 
whom Christ hath sent. But, if a person baptised 

* "Orav ovv dKovtnjg irepl rov lyot Ytov rac tyavTlag ^«i»vac» 
KoraXX^XMC /i«p«i^€ rale fl>v(r€<n rd Xcyo/icva. *A>' /icya tI koI 
deloyf TJ Qtiif. f^vvti irpotryi/iwv' ay Be ri fUKpoy koI dydpwTriyoPf 
ij dvOpbnriyy \oyi(6fi€voc» Owrw yap Koi to r&y (fnavitty davfi" 
fmvov Siafevijiff tKatmic & ici^vKt Bexofiiyrfc ^vaewQ, Expos. 
Fid. de rect. confess, in Oper. Justin. Mart. p. 299. 

' Dictus est quidem Magni Concilii Angelus^ id est, Nuncku : 
officii, non natursB, vocabulo. Tertull. de cam. Christ. $ 10. 
Oper. p. 32. 


844 THE APOSTOLicmr [[book 11. 

Qut of the Church can put on Christ, and yet not 
receive the Spirit : then the sent mil be greater ^um 
(he sender ^ 

Christ, says Novatian, is God : but yet so God, 
that he is the Son, not the Father. — If Christ were 
only a man, how doth he say : that The Contfarter 
would take, from what was Christ s, the things which 
he was about to communicate? For neither doth 
the Comforter receive any thing from man ; inas- 
much as the Comforter giveth knowledge to man: 
nor doth the Comforter receive future things from 
man; inasmuch as the Comforter instructeth man 
respecting future things. Therefore the Comforter 
either did not receive from the man Christ, what he 
should communicate ; since man can give nothing to 
the Comforter, from whom man himself ot^ht to re- 
ceive: and thus, on such a supposition, Christ, in 
the present place^ misleads and deceives us, when lie 
says; that, from himself, a man, the Comforter 
would receive what lie should communicate. Or else 
he doth not deceive us; as indeed he deceives us not : 
and then, on this more fitting supposition, what the 
Comforter should communicate, the Comforter did 
himself receive from Christ. But, if the Conforter 

' Qui potest, apud hsereticos baptizatus, Christum induere ; 
multo magis potest Spiritum Sanctum, quem Christus miaity 
accipere* Cseterum major erit mittente qui missus est, ut in- 
cipiat foris baptizatus Christum quidem induissc, sed Spiritum 
Sanctum non potuisse percipere. Cyprian. Epist. Ixxiv. Oper. 
vol. ii. p. 213. 

;hap. ix.^ op trinitabianism. S15 

teeived from Christ what he should communicate: 
hen, since the Comforter would not have received 
torn Christ, unless he had been inferior to Christ ; 
t is plain, that Christ is greater than the Com- 
forter. Now this inferiority of the Comforter to 
Thrist demonstrates Christ to be God, even on this 
trease ground: namely, that The Comforter re- 
eboed from Christ what he communicates. Thus 
he circumstance, that The Comforter, being inferior 
Christ, receives from Christ what he delivers to 
ihers, may be a good testimony of the divinity of 
7hrist. Whereas, if Christ were only a man, the 
9hole matter would be directly inverted. For, in 
hat case, Christ would, from the Comforter, receive 
yhat he should say : not the Comforter himself re- 
eive,from Christ, what he should communicate \ 

^ Deu8 est ergo (scil. Christus) : Deus autem sic, ut Filius 
it, ncm Pater. — Si homo tantummodo Christus, quomodo Para- 
ktum dicit de suo esse sumpturum, quae nunciaturus sit (Jo- 
lan. xvi. 14.)? Neque enim Paracletus ab homine quicquam 
ccijHt, sed homini scieDtiam Paracletus porrigit : nee futura 
b homine Paracletus discit, sed de futuris hominem Paracletus 
dstruit. Ergo, autem, non accepit Paracletus a Christo homine, 
[uod nunciet ; quoniam Paracleto homo nihil poterit dare a 
[uo ipse homo debet accipere : et fallit in prsesenti loco Chris- 
08 et decipit ; qimm, Paracletum a se homine accepturum quae 
lunciet, dicit. Aut non nos fallit ; sicut nee fallit : et accepit 
^aradetus a Christo, quae nunciet. Sed, si a Christo accepit 
[lue nunciet ; major ergo jam Paracleto Christus est : quoniam 
tec Paracletus a Christo acciperet, nisi minor Christo esset. 
If inor autem Christo Paracletus, Christum etiam Deum esse, 



If^ in Isaiah, says Origen, our Lard deelaret 
himself to have been sent by the Father and bis 
Spirit: we must urge, respecting the Spirit who 
sent Christ ; that the Saviour d^ers not from Aim 
in nature, but that he becomes inferior to him on 
account of the economy of the inhumanitation of 
the Son of God. Now, should any one be offended 
at my assertion; that The Saviour, having taken 
human nature upon him, is made inferior to the 
Holy Ghost: I would bring against him the de^ 
claration of St. Paul to the Hebrews; that Jesus 
was made less than the angels on account of his strf" 
fering death. — When the Father, therefore, as the 
leading principle, sends the Son; the Holy Ghost 
also jointly sends him: promising, that in due time 
he zcould descend upon the Son of God and would 
cooperate with him in the salvation of mankind ^ 

hoc ipso probat ; a quo accepit, quae nunciat : ut tesdmonium 
Christi divinitatis grande sit ; dum, minor Christo Paradetm 
repertus, ab illo sumity quae caeteris tradit. Quandoquidem, si 
homo tantummodo Christus: a Paracleto Christus acciperet, 
quae diceret ; non a Christo Paracletus acciperet, quae nunciaret. 
Novat, de Trin. in Open Tertull. p. 621. 

' £i it Kara toy 'Ilo'aiav t^ticiy 6 Kvpcoc hf^^^ vro rov Uarpot 
dwtardKdai icac rov TLytvfAaroQ avroO, etrri icai lyravOa ircpc row 
dirotmiXayros toy Xpitrroy Uyivfiarvc dTroXoyiianaOat, ovx ^C 
^v(T€i ^la^ipoyroc, dXXd Bid rify yeyofAiytfy oiKovo^iay r^c iyay* 
Bpwwiitreutt tov tlov tov Geov, iXarrwOiyrvt irap* avro rov mnii* 
poc* £< ^e iy Tovr^ wpoaKoimi rf Xiyiiy ijXaTrwaBai irapd ro 
"Aycov JJytvfia roy awriipa iyaiSpwirritrayra' trpotraKrioy . avroy^ 
diro T^y iy iy vpoQ 'EflpalovQ Xeyofiiywv iirtaroXfj, Koi dyyiXtiv 


5. The three last of these passages, that from 
Cyprian and that from Novatian and that from 
Qrigen, deserve jointly our peculiar attention. 

(1.) As C3rprian and Novatian argue^ for the 
temporary official inferiority of the Spirit to the 
Son; on the ground^ that the Spirit is sent by the 
Son^ and that the Spirit receives from the Son 
what he is about to communicate : so Origen con- 
versely argues, for the temporary official inferiority 
of the Son to the Spirit ; on the ground, that the 
Son is sent by the Spirit no less than by the 

Nothing shews more strongly the sentiments of 
the primitive Church in regard to equality under 
one aspect and inferiority xmder another aspect, 
than this apparent discrepance of arrangement. 

In nature, as Origen remarks, the Son differs not 
from the Spirit : but in the economy of office, when 
the Spirit jointly with the Father sends the Son, 
then the Son is inferior officially to the Spirit; 
while, on the other hand, when the Son sends the 
Spirit from the Father, then the Spirit is inferior 
officially to the Son. 

(2.) Yet, from this very circumstance of official 

kkdrrova, 2ca to irddiifAa rov 6avarov, atro^'jiyayiivov tov HavXov 
yvfovivai rov *lrivovv, — Tov Ilarpoc «c iiyovfiivov atroariWoyroc 
rov XioVy avyawoariWei Koi av/iirpoirifiirei to "Ayioy Ilvev/ia av« 
TOVf iy Kaipf vina\yovfi€voy «cara/3^vai rrpoc Toy Yioy tov Geov 
ical trvyepyfjaat rp rHy &yOpunnay trtoTTipli^. Orig. ComineDt. in 
Ji^ian. torn. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 57, 58. 


inferiority, when the Spirit stands thus econoini- 

cally related to the Son, Novatian deduces a yeiy 

clear and very ingenious argument in proof of the 

Son's divinity. 

' His reasoning, as I have given it above in his 

own words, may be briefly stated in manner hh 


The Holy Ghost receives from Christ the things 
of Christ, and communicates them to mankind. 
But this act of ministerial reception demonstrates 
the inferiority of the Holy Ghost to Christ. Now 
the Holy Ghost is very God, proceeding from the 
essence of the Father. Therefore Christ, who in 
ofiSce is superior to the Holy Ghost, must himself, 
a fortiori, be very God. 

(3.) With respect to the text in Isaiah com- 
mented upon by Origan, it is a curious circum- 
stance : that, as there is an ambiguity both in the 
Hebrew and in the Greek, so this learned Father, 
while he notes the fact, annexes, in two different 
places of his Works, two different senses to the 

In his Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, 
he understands the eternal Son to say : The Lord 
Jehovah and his Spirit Jiath sent me *. 

But, in his Treatise against Celsus, he under- 
stands him to say : The Lord Jehovah hath sent me 
and his Spirit *. 

* Orig. Comment, in Johan. torn. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 57- 
' Orig. cont. Cels. lib. i. p. 35. 


Yet, however the passage be rendered, Origen 
views it, as a clear and illustrious attestation, from 
the ancient Hebrew Scriptures, to the doctrine of 
the Holy Trinity. 

II. Passages, such as those which I have now 
adduced, although to any person even moderately 
versed in Theology, their meaning is most abund- 
antly evident, have, nevertheless, taught the His- 
torian of The Corruptions of Christianity : that 
The doctrine of the early Father^ does not at all 
accord xvith the idea of the perfect equality of all 
the persons in the Trinity; and that The advances 
to the present doctrine of the Trinity were slow and 

The anonymous Barrister, likewise, on the 
strength (I suppose) of these same or of some 
other similar passages, confident in the decision 
of his precursor, has positively asserted: that The 
Trinity of the more ancient christian xvriters, as 
declared by themselves (of which he can prodtcce very 
dear and satisfactory proofs from their oton com^ 
positions), consisted of three unequal persons, among 
wham the Father was supreme. 

In the judgment, then, of the Historian and the 
Barrister, the Trinity of the ancient Church was 
something essentially different from the Trinity 
of the more modern Church. For the Trinity of 
the ancient Church, as set forth by the early ec- 
clesiastical writers, consisted of three unequal per- 
sons, among whom the Father is supreme. But 


the slowly perfected Trinity of the more modem 
Churchy which Trinity (as Dr. Priestley assnrei 
us) occupied some centuries before it was com- 
pletely formed, consists of three persons perfbctly 
EQUAL IN ALL RESPECTS, amoug whom the Father 
possesses no supremacy. 

1. Such is the matter, deliberately propounded 
as A FACT, both by one who claims to be an His- 
torian, and by a writer whose very profession itself 
might have rendered him jealously careful in the 
sifting of evidence. 

In what volumes these two authors have studied 
modern Trinitarianism, I shall not undertake to 
determine. But this, at least, I may safely assert : 
that The pretended discrepance, winch makes so far- 
midable an appearafice in the researches of the two 
investigators, exists solely in their own partial and 
defective and indeed grossly inaccurate representor 
tions both of the ancients and of the moderns. 

The early ecclesiastics held a Trinity, the per- 
sons of which were unequal in gradation and 
office, but EQUAL in iiature and substance. 

Modern Catholics hold a Trinity, the persons 
of which are equal in nature and substance, but 
unequal in gradation and office. 

The early ecclesiastics taught the supremacy of 
the Father in gradation and office : but maintained 
his equality to the Son and the Spirit, in regard 
to time and nature. 
. Modern Catholics maintain his equality to the 


Son and the Spirit, in regard to time and nature : 
but, along with it, they teach his supremacy in 
gradation and office. 

This, I believe, is the sole amount of the for- 
midable discrepancy, which Dr. Priestley and the 
Barrister have discovered,^ between ancient Trinir 
tarians and modem Trinitarians. 

2« We have now heard the decisions of the 
ancients, in regard to the true scriptural doctrine 
of the nature of the Godhead. 

Let us next hear the declarations of those 
modems, who, among us Anglican Catholics, are 
justly venerated as fathers. 

We may then, by a comparison of the former 
vdth the latter, securely judge, whether there be 
any ground for the assertion : that The Trinity of 
the present day differs essentially from the Trinity 
of the early ages : inasmuch as the modern Trinity 
contains three persons in all respects equal, no one 
of which is supreme ; while the ancient Trinity con- 
tained three wholly unequal persons, among xvhom 
supremacy was ascribed to the Father. 

(1.) I shall begin with stating the scheme of 
doctrine, propounded, under the avowed aspect of 
its perfect identity with the primitive scheme, by 
the eminently learned Bishop Pearson. 

We may safely observe : t/iat, in the very name of 
father, there is something of eminence, which is not 
in that of the Son. And some kind of priority we 
must ascribe unto him, whom we call the first ; in 

252 THE AP06T0LICITY X^^^^ ^ 

respect of him, whom we term the second, person. 
And, as we cannot but ascribe it : so must we endea- 
vour to preserve it. 

Now that privilege or priority consisteth m4 in 
this ; that the essence or attributes of the one 


THE OTHER : but onljf in this ; that the father 


Whence he acknowledgeth : that He is from him; 
that He liveth by him; that The Father gave 
him to have life in himself. And he generally re* 
ferreth all things to him, as received from him. 

Wherefore, in this sense, some of the ancients have 
not stuck to interpret those words. The Father is 
greater than I^ of Christ, as the Son of God, as the 
second person in the blessed Trinity: but stiU with a 
reference, not unto his essence^ but unto his generor 
tion ; by which he is understood to have his being 
from the Father, who only hath it in himself, and 
who is the original of all power and essence in the 
Son. I can of mine own self do nothing, saith 
our Saviour; because he is not of himself : and, who- 
soever receives his being, must receive his power, from 
another ; especially where the essence and the power 
are undeniably the same, as in God they are. — 

We must not, therefore, so far involve ourselves in 
the darkness of this mystery, as to deny the glory 
which is clearly due unto the Father : whose preemi^ 
nence undeniably consisteth in this : that he is god. 

CHAP. IX.]] OF TR1VIT\RI \NIS'.f. 2.33 


It is no diminution of the Son to $ay: that he is 
PROM another. For his very name imports as much. 
But it were a diminution of the Father so to speak of 
Mm: and there must he some preeminence, where 
there is place for derogation. 

What the Father is, he is from none : what the 
Son is, he is from the Father. What thefirtt is, he 
giteth : what the second is, he receiveth. 

The first is a Father, indeed, hy reason of his Son: 
but he is not God hy reason of him. Whereas the 
Son is not only so, in regard to the Father: hut he 
is also God, hy reason of the same. 

Upon this preeminence, as I conceive, may safely 
be grounded the congruity of the divine mission. We 
often read: that Christ was sent. Whence he bears 
the name of an apostle himself: as well as those, 
whom he therefore named so ; because, as the Father 
sent him, so sent he them. The Holy Ghost also is 
scud to be sent, sometimes by the Father, sometimes 
by the Son. But we never read, that the Father was 
SENT at all: there being an authority in that name, 
w/deh seems inconsistent with this mission. — 
' The dignity of the Father zviU yet further appear, 
from the ORDER of the persons in the blessed Trinity: 
of which he is undoubtedly the first. For, although, 
in some passages of the apostolical discourses, the 
Son may first be named: — yet, where the three per^ 
sons are barely enumerated and delivered unto us as 
the rule of faith, there that order is observed which 

254 THE APOSTOLiaTT \j»001L II. 

is proper to them ; — which order hath been per-- 
petuated in all confessions of faith, and is for ever 
inviolably to be observed. — 

Now this priority doth properly and naturally 
result from the divine paternity: so that the San 
must necessarily be second unto the Father, from 
whom he receiveth his origiwUion ; and the Hohf 
Ohost unto the Son. 

Neither can we be thought to want a sufficient 
foundation for this priority of the first person of the 
Trinity, if we look upon the immerous testimonies of 
the ancient Doctors of the Ckurch : who heme not 
stuck to call the Father, the origin^ the cause^ the 
AUTHOR, the ROOT, the FOUNTAIN, and the bead, of 
the Son or the whole Divinity. 

For, by these titles, it appeareth dearly : first, 
that they made a considerable difference, between the 
person of the Father of whom are all things, and 
the person of the Son by whom are all tJdngs : and, 
secondly, that the difference consisteth properly in 
this ; that. As the branch is from the root and the 
river from the fountain, and as by their origination 
from them they receive that being which they 
have; whereas the root receiveth nothing frtim 
the branch, or the fountain from the river : so the 
Son is from the Father, receiving his subsistence 
by generation from him ; but the Father is not 
from the Son, as being what he is from none ^ 

(2.) Exactly the same tenets are maintained by 

' Pearson on the Creed, art. i. vol. i. p. 59 — 63. Oxoii. 

f ff AP. IX.^ OF TIUMTAIU.WISM. 255 

Dr. Waterland, in his Commentary on the Atha- 
nasian Creed. 

When it is said, none is afore or after other; 
we are not to understand it of order. For the 
Father is first : the Son, second : the Holy Ghost 
third in order. Neither are we to understand it of 
office. For the Father is supreme in office : while 
the Son and the Holy Ghost condescend to inferior 
offices. But we are to understand it, as the Creed 
itself explains it, of duration and dignity \ 

(3.) The same system of doctrine is equally 
maintained by Bishop Bull : who, in stating the 
tenets of the ancients, avowedly makes them his 
own by adoption. 

That decree of the Nicene Council, in which it is 
defined that the son of god is god from god, the 
catholic Doctors, who wrote either before or after 
the Council, have confirmed by their approbation. 
For they unanimously taught: that The divine 
nature and perfections appertain to the Father 
and to tlie Son, not collaterally or coordinately, 
but contrariwise subordinately. To wit: that The 
Son, indeed, has a common nature with the 
Father, but communicated from the Father. So 
that the Father alone has that divine nature from 
iinuelf or from no other : but the Son, from the 
Father. Whence the Father is the fountain and 
origin and principle of the divinity which is in the 

* Waterland on the Athan. Creed, p. 144. 


The catholic Doctors, both antemcene and posU 
nicene, unanimously defined: that ood the father, 


SON. That is to say, not greater in nature or in 
any essential perfection, which nUght be in the Fa- 
ther though not in the Son: but greater solely in 
authority or in origination ; since the Son is from 
the Father, and not the Father from the San. 

This doctrine, concerning the subordination of 


GIN AND PRINCIPLE^ the ancient Doctors thought to 
be very useful and altogether necessary to be known 
and believed : because, agreeably to such a system, 
the divinity of the Son may be strenuously asserted; 
while yet the unity and the divine monarchy of the 
Godhead may be strictly preserved. For, though 
the title and the nature be common to two, namely 
to the Father and to the Son of God : yet, since the 
one is the principle of the other whence that other is 
propagated, and that by interior not exterior pro^ 
duction ; tlie result is, that God may justly be pro^ 
nounced one. The same system was, by the ancients, 
deemed alike applicable to tlie divinity of the Holy 
Spirit '. 

3. Such^ in all ages^ has been the faith of the 
Catholic Church : such it v^q^ formerly ; and such 
it still continues to be in the present day. For the 
attestation both of its truth and of its immuta* 

* Bull. Defens, Fid. Nic. sect. iv. c.l. § 1. c. 2. § K c« 4. § 1. 


bility, the modern Trinitarian, with the Works 
of Pearson and of Bull and of Waterland in his 
handtf, appeals to the doctrinal statements of the 
early ecclesiastical writers : for he is perfectly con- 
sciousj that, between his tenets and their tenets, 
there exists no discrepancy. 

IIL Though much has already been said, for 
the puipose o( rectifying the gross misrepresenta- 
tions of the Antitrinitarian School of Theology : 
it will be necessary, yet again, to attend upon the 
steps of the very remarkable Historian of the Cor- 
ruptions of Christianity. 

Wefini^ ypon all occasians, says Dr. Priestley : 
that the early ehristtan txniters speak oj the Father 
as superior to the Son : and, in general, they give 
Urn the title of ood, as distinguished from the 
Son: and sometimes they expressly call him, ex- 
chmoely of the Son, the only true god ; a phrase-^ 
ology, which does not at all accord with the idea 
of the perfect equality of all the persons in the 

1. In what manner the early ecclesiastical wri- 
ters represent the Father as superior to the Son, 
and in what sense they held the persons of the 
Holy Trinity to be espial, and again under what 
aqpect they likewise deemed them unequal; mat* 
tiers, wherein they ejuctly accord with the modem 
Trinitarian, though Dr. Priestley and the Barrister 
sedulously announce their discovery of an ima- 
ginary discrepance : I have now explamed with as 



much brevity, as the nature of the subject would 

Under the hands of Dr. Priestley^ however, it 
seems, that our ancient church-literature is a mine 
absolutely inexhaustible. He finds, that the early 
christian writers give the title of ood to the Father> 
as distinguished from the Son : and he observes, 
that sometimes, even exclusively of the Son, they 
expressly call him the only true god. 

These are certainly discoveries, alike novel and 
important and unexpected. 

That the ancient ecclesiastics often style the 
Father both god and the only true god, is indis* 
putable : and it were special wonder, if they re- 
fused to him such titles ; for these are the very 
appellations bestowed upon the Father in Holy 
Writ itself. All this, I admit, is quite clear and 
incontrovertible. But, for the alleged fact, that 
they so bestowed the titles in question^ either 
contradistinctively from the Son or exclustvely of 
the Son, in order thereby to intimate their belief 
that The Son is not very God: for this alleged 
fact, I find no proof, save Dr. Priestley's own as- 
sumptively gratuitous interpretation of their Ian- 

(1.) His allegation, that the ancients in geuCTri 
style the Father god contradistinctively from the 
Son, the historian, if I rightly understand him, 
would rest on the circumstance : that the Trinity 
is sometimes propounded by them, as consisting 



of GOD and The Son and The Sfnrk. When^, I 
suppose^ he would demand our assent to the in- 
ference : that the writers, who thus propounded 
the Trinity, wished us to exclude the Son and the 
Spirit from all participation of deity. 

Nothing can be more vain than such an infer- 
estce. As I wish not to weary the inquirer with a 
multiplication of proofs, I shall content myself 
with shewing its utter futility from nothing more 
than the two early cases of Justin Martyr and 

Both those writers enumerate the three persons 
of the Trinity, as being god and The Son and The 
Spirit \ 

But do they, therefore, deny the divinity of the 
Son : the inference, which Dr. Priestley would 
have us draw from their phraseology ? 

Truly, the merest dabbler in their compositions 
win scarcely hazard such a crude assertion '. 

* See Justin. ApoL i. Oper. p. 43, 47. Tertull. adv. Prax. 
§7. Oper. p. 410. 

' On the principle laid down by Dr. Priestley, it is unfor- 
tnnate, that he did not conmiiinicate his sentiments, respecting 
the enumeration of the persons in the Trinity by Justin's con- 
temporary Athenagoras. 

L This very ancient writer styles the Father ood and the Son 
ooB : while yet he cmiU giving the same appellation of ood to 
the Holy Spirit. 

Aiyovra^ Othy UarifKi, rat Yioy 8cov, ical Hytvfia "Aycor. 
Athen. Legat. ^ x. Oper. p. 40. 

Therefinre, if Dr. Priestley's system of inductive reasoning 


Sd6 TBte A5rote«>t«*i* Oftodk n. 

The teal pritfdple 6f the |j|irtAAotegy, fit>tt 
Mfhich Dr. Priestley has learned tiMtt 1^ ^cieifis 

h^ just, ^e iBUst Midude : 4fhat Aiheidigotte flUitMdbfaf 
divinity of the Son^'iio less dian he nutmtmned ike^SMait^'^ 
the Father ; hut that he detded the divinity of the Holy Okost. 

II. Dn Priestley, indeed, though not precisely on the strength 
of this passage, asserts, as I rememher : that The docirme of 
Ae personality of the Holy Ghoit tvas unknonm, tmtit IfettM^ 
nnd after the thne, of the first i^ene OdtneiL 

The litter futility of such an asserlioa wiH vda^Hy be per^ 
ceived hy those, who are in any measure conversant "VMth liie 
writings of the Antenicene Fathers. 

To demonstrate its falsehood, I shall not crowd my margin 
with authorities : three, 1 apprehend, will be quite sufficient. 

1. Iren^us repeatedly styles the Son and the Spirit ihe fmb 
htsrtdst by which the Father created man-: ^uiiihe aawrte; HhsA 
the Father spake to these two hands, when he said. Lei me wmke 
man after our image and Ukeness. Iren. adv. hser. lib. iv. in 
prsefat. p. 2S2. lib. iv. c. 37. p. Z66. lib. v. c. 8, 14. p. 322, 
336, 337* See the originals cited above, append, i. numb. 1. 
text 1. 

Now the personality of the Son was indisputably maintained 
l:^ Irendus : as, indeed, no one ever dreamed of denyiag his 

Therefore, since he homogeneously styles the Son and the 
Spirit the rwo hands of the Father, the plain attslogy of lan^ 
guage requires'us to conclude: that he also held 'the penonalky 
of the Spirit. 

2. With Ireneus agrees Origen. Tor he, distinctly And Ofen 
verbally, asserts : that The Father and the Son and ike 'Hoiy 
Ghost are three hypostases or personal^subsisteneew. 

*H/u(c fiiyrotye rpeTc vwoffrdtret^ wuB6fi€Voi ifHr/ytBtnemf toy 
UaTepa koI tov tlov koX rd^Ayioy Tlp$vfia. Or^. * Comment, in 
Johan. torn. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 56. 

3. The 

CHAT. IZ.|] OP HmnTAElAMilf, 961 

stykd the Father GQ^ amiratSsiiMciivefy/rom the 
Son, yfB$ amply this. 

They rightly taoght, that the Father ahme if 
Qod (ff imie^ zxA tie origukdfaumtaim^ Doty ^ ; 
while both the Son and the l^pbit are eterwdkf 
derwedfrom the sobetance of the Father : tx, had 
they tiuight otherwise, they would hare fidlen into 
4ireGt Tritheism. Hence, in ennmerating the 
three persons of the Trinity, they were wont, pre- 
enmeuiUy, though not cambradutinctively, to bestow 
the iqqpellatilm c^qod up<m the Father ^ 

In such phraseology, however, they meant not 

S* ±wb luo ducUiDC M tn^jtkt bj Of^geo s mwtifmpiHMu y , 
Dkrn jiiilt of Aiezaadm. For, iaaprafi»fed MttenieDt^^die 
three penoos of tbe Txioitj, lie introduces Chrkt, as describing 

with the Lord the Spirit. 
iw h iww6oTaTOC ad Stv Xpiarog, o im>c r^ Uarpi Kara to 
dwapdXXoKrar rfc vwoaraffettCt &^ awtdZtoQ col rf Ki^'^ Ilre^ 
fuiru Dion. Alex. adr. PanL Samosat. qmesL it. Oper. p. 2S2. 

In this striking passage, the tenn Lord is clearly a personal 
appdalion : nor could such a title have erer been given to the 
Sprit by oncy who either denied or had never heard of the 
Spirit's personality. 

I m^ add : dial the passage, occnrring, as it does occor, 
b a professedly controversial Work, against ooe, who, in op- 
position to the whole Catholic Church, rejected the doctrine of 
tha Trinity ; the inevitable omclusion is, that Dionysius was pro- 
pounding, not merely his own private sentiments, but a fami- 
liarly recognised dogma of the entire Church Catholic. 

* AfmSOeoc and Ilffy^ Geoniroc* 

' See Bp. Pearson on the Creed, art. i. vol. i. p. 64, ^5^ with 
the dependent notes and authorities. 


to distinguish the Son from the Father, with re- 
spect to the point of deity. The fancied contnir 
distinction^ on this pointy exists only in the gloss 
of Dn Priestley : it is utterly irreconcileable with 
the express statements of the early ecclesiastical 
writers themselves. 

(2.) But Dr. Priestley further asserts : that the 
ancients sometimes expressly call the Father the 
ONLY TRUE GOD exclusivelf/ of the Son. 

With respect to the simple fact^ that, adopting 
the words of Christ himself, they sometimes call 
the Father the only true god : that &Lct, as we 
may readily suppose, is indisputable \ 

But, with respect to the alleged circumstance of 
their so styling him exclusively of the Son : the 
mode^ in which they quoted and understood the 
language of our Lord when he thus denominated 
his heavenly Father, actually conveys an idea, 
precisely the reverse of that gratuitously suggested 
by Dr. Priestley. 

God, when xvritten with the article, says Origen, 
imports him who is god of himself or god the 
father. Wherefore also our Saviour , in his prayer 
to the Father, says : That they may know thee the 
ONLY TRUE GOD. But every thing, that, beside him 
WHO IS GOD OF HIMSELF, bccomes ijfod by a parttdpor 
tion of his divinity, is not god written with the article 
or GOD OF HIMSELF : but may more properly be called 

' John xvii. 3. 


GOD umply, w GC«> Of wriifem wkhomi the wrMe; 
that is to say, god, m the tetae of cod emasatisg 
FRrai GOD. Wherefore, he who was horn hefufre all 
creation, inasmuch as he was first hs regard to Jus 
being with God, hating from Gods dicimty dericed 
dimmty to Mmself, is wune honomraNe than those 
others who hende Mm are styled gods, cfwhom Cfod 
is the God: as it is said; The Lord, tie God ^ 
gods, hath spoken ^ 

Toy Uaripa tJrxJ' ^>^ yiyw«n##i mt nor itavow akifitrmr Oe^. 
Hay ^ TOf wapa to AMOtoCf /urvxj r^c huiv99 Ot^nfroc Bf owm 
cvfuyoyf oi^x ^ ^coc, d)^ik Oc^ KwptmnpQiy ay Xcyocro. ^Oc 
rarrm^ 6 wp^fr&roKoc vo^VC KrinM^, 6rt rfimt rf wpac roy 
Gcor droiy tfTOtfoc rye Oconpnoc cac tamvyf in rtfuifnpoc rmt 
X/Hwoit vap* ain^y 6boIc» ^^i' o Ococ Ococ e^rc* mra ro Xtyofuyoy 
Ococ Oewr Kvpcoc cXoXifac. Orig. Comment, in Joban. torn. ii. 
Pper. ToL ii. p. 46, 47. 

I. It may here be proper to remark : that I am no way con- 
cerned with the Jtbatract propriety or imp r o prie ty of the primi- 
tive explanations of oor Lord's j^iraseology. I adduce them 
purely in evidence with respect to an alleged fact. 

Dr. Priestky says : that Hie early eeclenastical wriiers call 
the Father, xxclusttelt of the Som, thx ovlt teus ood. 

Now the primitire eiqphmations, which I adduce, be their 
abstract merits what they may, distinctly shew : that The a#- 
jtertion of the Historian is a positiyx falsehood. 

It is for this sole purpose, and for no other, that such ex- 
pUmations are adduced : and I conceive them to be perfectly 

II. As for the explanation given by Origen, it is strictly 
catholic in its purport and object. For it proceeds upon the 
sound principle : that, By his own special prerogative, God the 


If Christ were only a mere mnn, reasofns Na?»> 
tian, wAy did he deliver to as such a nde offmtk m 
this, wherein he says: This is Ufe eternal, that tkeg 
should know thee the only true god and Jesut 

WmAer i$ ahne the Alr^soc or the Uriy^ Oc^nrnoc; whiU iki 
Son and the Spirit are severaUy God, by emanative participation 
in the deity of the unoriginated Father. 

1. This will equally be the case, whatever becomes of the erM' 
dim upon the arthrous term 6 8edc and the anarthroaa term 6c^ 

I have already had occasion to notice it, when pointing oat 
the strtfnge blunder into which Dr. Priestley and other writers 
of his School have fallen respecting the purport of the present 
passage and its context (See above, book ir. chap. 4. § n, note) : 
I may now add, that its merits have certainly been overlooked 
by others of the early ecelesiasticid writers. For Jnstiii tod 
Melito and Dionysius of Alexandria all eoncur in styling Chriat 
6 Oeoc or God with the article: though they all maintatned; 
that the Son emanates from the substance of the Father, as 
light emanates from the substance of light ; and, consequently, 
that, in point of nature, the Son is true God from true God. 

XpiOTOQ 6 Oe6c. Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 266. 

'O Gedc wiirovBiy vtto ^e£mc *I(fpai)Xiri^oc* Melit. Fragment, 
apud Anastas. Hodeg. in Routh. Rel. Sacr. vol. i. p. 116. 

"O dv tirl wdynav 6£oc, K^pcoc o Geoc *Io'pa^X, 'Ii^trotfc o Xpc9« 
t6q. Dion. Alex. Oper. p. JS48. 

2. But the most curious part of the matter remains yet to 
be told. 

In the best of his Works, Origen himself , in despite of \m 
own criticism the first hint of which he appears to have taken 
from his master Clement (See Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. iii. Oper. 
p. 460), actually styles the Son rov Qiov or God with the artide 

'Oc thOtitpriirov rov Qthv rov Xlov €frtfi\f/€y. Orig. cont. Gds. 
lib. vi. p. 323. 

GAAP. hlT] or tmnTAsunof. 

C^M$t whom thorn katt $mi f Whtf $pake he Iktu, 
\f he mshed not thei he himmy^ mlm ihemU he 
ieemedGodf Whg £d he aU, Amd Jeems Chriet 
wh(rtn thou hatt seat; umle$$ he wrishedMs 
fity also to be acknowledgedf For, had he 
to say that he was not God, he womld have added. 
And THE KAN Jesus Christ whom thou hast seuL 
But now he has neither made this addition, nor has 
he deeeribed hemse^ to us as a mere num. On tie 
eontrairy, he has jeined Ums^ to God, as wishing 
by this eonfunetion to be deemed God: for such in" 
deed he is. We must titer ef ore, according to the 
prescribed rule, believe, in the Lord the oslx nm 
aoD, and consequently in Jesus Christ whom he hath 
sent. For, as we have smd, Christ would never hmm 
joined himself to the Father, unless he had wished 
also to be understood as God^. 

' Si bono taatiBinBodo CkrifCiiiy qMTie tnisnli mitim Ukm 
ngahm poroit, qaa dieeret: H^tc est mOem wkm aUrnSf tS 
4amU U wmmei vtrwm Dfwm, et qmem wumU Jetmm Chrisimmt 
9k nohiwirt le cdamPcniiiiiiteDigi, cwr >ddidk; EiqwemwuMsU 
Juwm Ckr iihm ; md gnnaiim ct Demi aedpi Tdni? Qoo» 
■km, li ae Ihma noDet ialcil^ wMMimei : Et qwem mmsU 
nmaxmm Jemtm Chnttwm Nunc mten oeqae tMUdh, nee ee 
h o mmwiu nobk frnifmrnnodo Chrittot tradidit : ted Deo jimsit ; 
ot et Demn per hanc ooDJunctioiiem, sicut ett, iiitel%i reDei. 
Eft ergo credendnm, lectuidinii pnetcripUuB leguknif in Domi- 
Dam wniini irenun Desna, et in earn qnem mint Jetom Cfaru- 
Ian oiNHeqnenter : qui ae ncgnaqnam Patri, at dizimui, jnnxia- 
tei, fliai Deum qnoqne intelligi rellet. Novat. de Trin. in Oper. 
Tertnll. p. 621,622. 

I subjoin 

266 THE APosTOLicmr [[book u. 

We are not worshippers of stones which possess 
no sense, says Melito^ but of thb only god who is 
before all things and above all things : and we are 
likewise worshippers of his Christ, truly, before the 
worlds, God the Word^. 

In addition to these early writers, it were easy 
to cite Gregory Nazianzen and Athanasius and 
Epiphanius and Hilary: the three first of whom 
consider our Lord's expression to be used^ as inti- 
mating nothing more, than that the Father is the 

I subjoin, what Noyatian evidently gives, as the true ratkmal^ 
of our Lord's phraseology. 

Est ergo Deus Pater omnium institutor et creator, soims wigi" 
nem neicieru, invisibilis, immensus, imroortalis, flBtemoa, 
Deus. — Ex quo, quando ipse voluit, Sermo Filius natus 
Hie ergo, cum sit genitus a Patre, semper est in Patre. Sempee 
autem sic dico, ut non innatum, sed natum, probem, Sed, qui 
ante omne tempus est, semper in Patre fuisse dicendus ett« 
Nee enim tempus illi assignari potest, qui ante tempus est. 
Semper enim in Patre, ne Pater non semper sit Pater. — Nam, 
cum id sit principium caeteris quod innatum, Deus solus Pater 
est qui extra originem est. Ex quo hie est qui natus est : dum, 
qui ex illo nascitur, merito ex eo venit qui originem non habet ; 
principium probans illud esse ex quo ipse est, etiamsi Deus eat 
qui natus est. Unum tamen Deum ostendit : quem hie, qui 
natus est, esse sine origine comprobavit. Est ergo Deus : sed 
in hoc ipsum genitus, ut esset Deus. Novat. de Trin. in Oper. 
Tertull. p. 6dd, 634. 

' Ohx iafikv \iBmv oh^fiiay aiaOritny k\6vTmv 6cpoir<vra2, 
c^XXa fi6yov Oiov rov wpo wdvriav koX itX wdmay' koI m rw 
Xpitrrov airrov, ovrwc Oeov A6yov %p6 ac^ywy, iefJiiy Bp^muvrai. 
Melit. Apol. in Chron. Pasch. ad a.d. 164, 165. apud Routh. 
Rel. Sacr. vol. i. p. 112. 


only true God, to the exclusion merely of the 
mnltitude of false gods, not to the exclusion of 
the Son and the Holy Ghost; while the hist pro- 
nounces, that, in the use of the expression, Christ 
did not mean to separate himself from the verity 
of the Godhead K But I am wiUing to confine 
myself, as Dr. Priestley (I conclude), from die 
nature of his argument, wished that his oppo- 
nents should be confined, to the antemcene writers 

Now, by these, as the text, containing the ex- 
pression THE ONLY TRUE GOD, is SOmctimCS CX^ 

plained: so, at other times, as by Cyprian for 
instance, it is merely quoted without any ei^lan^ 

* In order that, firom a nngle wj^edmen out of manj, tht 
reader inay judge jfor himselfy how fiai the Portnicenea, any nxne 
than the Antenicenea, support the alleged historical fact of 
Dr. Priestleyi that The early christian writers were want, xx- 
CLUtnrxLT of the San^ to call the Father the only true ood : 
I aabj<mi gratuitously the explanation giren by Hilary. 

Debitus Patri a Filio honor redditnr, cum dicit: Te soUsm 
verum Deum, Non tamen se Filius a Dei reritate seoemit, cum 
adjungit : Et quern misisti Jesum Christum. 

Non habet intenrallun] confessio credentium : quia, in utro- 
ffpCf spes vitae est. Nee Deus verus ab eo deficit, qui in con- 
junctione succedit. 

Cum, ergo, didtur ; Ut cognoscant te solum verum Deum et 
quern misisti Jesum Christum : sub hac significatione, id est, mit- 
TEKTis et Missi, non Patris et Filii Veritas et dirinitas sub ah'qua 
ant significationis aut dilationis diversitate discemitur ; sed ad 
eioHENTis et oENin confessionem fides religionis instruitur. 
Hilar, de Trin. lib, iii. § 14. Oper. p. 815. 

888 TUB AKMCOUcnry Cbqqk il 

tion \ But, whether formally explamgd ov whether 
simply quoted, so &r at least as my xeadii^ and 
memory extend, it is nbvbr, as I understand Dn 
Priestley to allege, quoted for the purpose of 

scripturally shewing: that The Father, sxclu^ 


siVBLY of the Son, is called the only trub oon ; 
cat, in other words, that The Father is so called 
THB ONLY TEUB GOD, as to intimate that the Son is 
mot triify God. On the contrary, aa we have 
seen, both Origen and Novatian and Melito adr 
duce the expression, in avowed union with a dis- 
tinct statement: that Christ is truhf God tiie 
Word; that he is not a mere man; but that he is 
God also as well as the Father, though (as the Ca^ 
tholic Church has ever held) God begotten of the 
Father before all worlds, or (as Origen speaks) 
God by a derivation of deity from him who alone 
is the fountain of deity or God of himself. 

2. Thus interpreted the ancients : yet, respect- 
ing their plan of interpretation, thus speaks a 
modem ecclesiastical historian. 

Wejind, upon all occasions, that the early christ- 
ian writers speak of the Father as superior to the 
Son : and, in general, they give him the title ofooD, 
as DISTINGUISHED /rom the Son ; and sometimes they 
expressly call him, exclusively of the Son, the 

' Cyprian, adv. Jud. lib. ii. { 1. Oper. vol. i. p. SI. CypriaiL 
de Orat. Domin. p. 151. Cyprian, de Exhort. Martyr. % 2. 
p. 172. Cyprian, ad Demet. p. 195. Cyprian. Epist. IxziiL 
Oper. vol. ii. p. 205. 

CHAP. IX.^ or fTOIlTARIA!«Hf. 

cniLT TKOE OOB : 10 pkmmlogg, nMck dee$ mot wl 
mU accord witk ike idea efthe perfect equaUtg ef 
eM the persma in the Trkmig. 

To convey ft diatinct anpression of tbe laiiomt 
of B(r» Plieadey's Instoiical accitracyy this rukMd 
repetition of Us own statement is, I coooeiriw 
amply sufficient 

WJtil t5o mvcfa reason, as Bishop Horriey ob- 
serve^ Afr. Badcodc ^comphdaed : that ml ruam^ 


The ground <tf sudi a oomplaint wffl readily be 

When an historian js strictly and coasoieD' 
IJDodjr aprrect: to write £>r the unlearned is pnaia- 
worthy, rather than bfanneaUe* 

Bnt, when, through an kitenipenifte desire af 
promoting some fevondte olgect, an historian u 
incorrect: notfaii^, sorely, can be more misdiier- 
tkis? fisr, by sach practices, ta hnndreds and to 
Jiionaands, who possess net the means of detect- 
ing his inaccnracy, tiie y«j fimntains of tmth 
itself are miserably poisoned* 

On the authority of Dr. Priestley, many per- 
sons, it can scarcely be doubted, of this descrip- 
tion, who have rashly adopted the Antitrioitarian 
System as the indisputable System of the primi- 
tive Church ere it was corrupted by Justin and 
Ireneus and Tertullian, believe, with the full as- 

^ Bp. Horeley's Letters to Dr. Priestley, lett. x. p. 184. 


surance of implicit credulity : that The early eccle- 
siastical writers, when (u yet the truant doctrine of 
the Trinity had not attained its present gigantic sta- 
ture, habitually denominate the Father the only 
TRUE GOD, for the express and a/oowed purpose of 


Such, if words possess any force and distinct- 
ness, is the idea clearly and necessarily inculcated 
by the statement, which, for the information of 
the less learned. Dr. Priestley has thought it ex- 
pedient to propound. 

According to his own estimate of the duties of 
a faithful historian; whose business is, not to 
decide upon the abstract propriety or impropriety 
of theological expositions, but honestly to set 
forth simple facts as he finds them recorded : he 
conceives himself to be fully warranted in assert- 
ing the specific circumstance ; that The early 
christian writers sometimes expressly call the Father, 




In his History of Early Opinions, Dr. Priestley 
devotes one chapter of his Work to the doctrine 
of the Antenicene Writers and another chapter to 
the doctrine of the Postnicene Writers. 

The object of the former chapter is to prove ; 
that All the Antenicene Writers held the doctrine 
of THE son's inferiority TO THE FATHER : the ob- 
ject of the latter chapter is to shew ; that All the 
Postnicene Writers held the opposite doctrine of the 
son's equality to the father. 

If we ask^ how these two widely different ob- 
jects are to be accomplished : it may be replied ; 
that, on the strictly eclectic plan of investigation 
adopted by Dr. Priestley, nothing is more easy. 

From the Antenicene Writers, let no passages 
be quoted, save only those which treat of the Son's 
acknowledged inferiority to the Father, in the 
three respects of emanative gradation and ecu- 


menical office and hjrpostatical inhumanitadon ; 
while, from the Postnicene Writers, let no pas- 
sages be quoted, save only those which treat of 
the Son's perfect equality to the Father, in regard 
to substance or essence or substratum or proper 
divine nature : and, doubtless, to the full satirfac- 
tion of those who never inquire for themselves, 
the business will be happily accomplished \ 

The speculation of Mr. Lindsey, though not 
formally supported by the apparatus of select evi- 
dence, is similar to that of Dr. Priestley. 

He teaches us : that The Fathers of the three 
first centuries y €md mth them the whole body cf 
Christians until the time of the first Nicene CoumcO, 
were genercMy what he calls UNriA&iANS. And* Iqr 
this term, he explains himself to mean: ^tber 
strict Humanitarians, who altogether denied the 
godhead ctf Christ, and who pronounced him to be 
a mere man ; or religionists, who, according to the 
theory which was afterward denominated Ariat^ 
ism, conceded to him a sort of secondary godhead, 
by admitting that he was the greatest and earliest 
of all created beings, and by maintaining that 
through him the Deity subsequently created the 
entire Universe *. 

^ Priestley's Hist, of Early Opin. book ii. chap. 4, 10. 

' Lindsey's Apol. p. 23, 24. I have already noticed the sin- 
gular phr^useology of Mr. Lindsey, where he teaches us : that 
ALL Christian People ^ for upward of three hundred years mfUr 
Christ tiU the Council of Nice, were qenerallt Unitaritm$» 

CHAP. X.^ Q9 TRINITAmiABnSlI. 273 

By these statements, the matter is obvioody 
brought to a mere question of msroRicii. fact. 

Dn Priestley and Mr. Lindsey assert : that 
Ncne of the Amtemeene Writen aektuntledged rvR 
PROPER Diymrrr of Christ. 

Such being the case, nothing more b requisite, 
than simply to hear the precise declarations of 
those very Writers themselves. 

I. It will not, I presume, be controverted ; that 
Jehovah, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Ja- 
cob, is, in the strictest and highest sense of the 
word, THE TRUE GOD : foT, assuredly, we shall find 
it impossible to deny his proper divhuty, without 
running counter to the very plainest language of 
Holy Scripture. 

See abore^ book ii. chap. 6. note in init. His meaning I suppose 
to be : that move of the Antenicene Christians acknowledged 
the proper dnrinity of Christ ; that they all, without excep- 
tioD, deemed him a mere creature ; and that they were uxivia- 
SALLT ignorant of the doctrine of the Trinity, which was the 
original invention of the first Council of Nice. Whether be 
wished to qtusUfy this large assertion by the use of the word 
GEKERAixTy I will not Undertake positively to determine. If 
such were his intention, the doctrines of Christ's godhead and 
the Trinity must clearly have existed be/ore the session of the 
Council of Nice, and therefore could not have been the mvenUon 
of that Councfl : which yet I understand Mr. Lindsey to as- 
sert. But, whatever may be his precise meanmg, he assures 
us ; that, upon inquiry ^ it fp'tU be found undeniably true : and, 
for the better promotion of sound historical knowledge, he deems 
it absolutely necessary that the less learned should be told ; that 
AXX Anienicene Christians were generally Unitarians. 

you II. T 


Neither yet, I presume, will it be controverted : 
that the Antenicene Fathers well knew the real 
character of the jehovah of the Patriarchal and 
Leritical Churches ; and that they could not 
doubt, whether proper essential dwinity ought to 
be ascribed to that ineffably glorious Subsistence. 

1. Under these circumstances, if the Ante- 
nicene Fathers pronounced Christ, to be the Lord 
of Hosts, and to be the God of Abraham and 
Isaac and Jacob : they musi plainly have ascribed 
to him proper essential divinity. 

Nor, so far as I can judge, since the God of 
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob is always denomi* 
nated jehovah, is it possible to evade this con- 
clusion, save by a flat denial that the jehovah of 
the Patriarchal and Levitical Churches is very and 
eternal God. 

Now, of Justin Martyr, and of Ireneus, and of 
Tertullian, and of Novatian, and of Hippolytus, 
and of Theophilus of Antioch, and of Clement of 
Alexandria, and of Cyprian, and of Dionysius of 
Alexandria, it is the constant and unvarying lan- 
guage : that Christ, as the Son or Word of God, 
is the Lord of hosts and the God of Abraham and 
Isaac and Jacob ; who, under the character of 
JEHOVAH sent by jehovah (as Zechariah speaks), 
conversed with Adam and Noah and Abraham and 
Isaac and Jacob, confounded the rebellious build- 
ers of Babel, rained down fire from jehovah out 
of heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrha, talked with 



Moses from the bush^ accompanied the Israelites 
in the pillar of fire^ and in short was the Being 
who appeared under a human form to the Patri- 
archs and whom the Patriarchs always worshipped 


' Kar' iKtiro yap tov icaipov ore Mw^c eircXc^tftfif KartXSiiy 
c2c AcyvnTOi' l^ayaycii' roy im Xaov r&v *lapari\trAyf TOifiai' 
yoyroc oirrov ey ry 'Ap^fiiKp yfj irp6j3aTa rov wpoQ fiffrpoQ BeioVf 
iy lie^ nvp^c Ik ^tov irpoffwfxiXfifrEy ahrf h ijfUTipoc Xpc0T($c* — 
Kaf cIircF* 'Eyw eifii b^Hvf Qeoc 'Afipahfiy Qeoc ^ItrawCf Oeoc *Ia* 
Kitfif 6 9coc T&y irariputy trov, Justin. Apol. i. Oper. p. 74, 75. 

Ta yvy 3c 9vy\ibi»piiaeic fioi TrpHroy kxifivqaQiivai iywtp /3ou- 
Xofioi irpo^rfreiuy, e<c iwUei^iy, on Kai Geoc koI Kvpioc r&y 3v- 
rafuwy 6 Xpc«T($c* Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 197. 

*Ori yap *Iir90vc ?>'> ^ Muttrii Kal rf *Afipadfi koI rotg 6XXoic 
iiirXQg warpiApxaic fayilc Kal 6fii\fi<raCf Tf rov Harpoc BEXitfiari 
hniperHyf dttiBitia' Sc ^ol HyOpwiroQ yeyyfidfjyai Bid rffc Tap* 
Biyov yittpiac J[X0c, Aral iarly del, kpH, Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. 
Oper. p. 266. Vide etiam Ibid. p. 214, 243, 278 — 280. 

Yere igitur cum Pater sit Dominus, et Filius vere sit Domi« 
nus, merito Spiritus Sanctus domini appellatione signavit eos. 
Et iterum, in eversione Sodomitarum, Scriptura ait : Et pluit 
DOMivut mqaer Sadomam et Oomarrham ignem et sulphur a 
DOMiKO de ccelo. Filium enim hie significat, qui et Abrahae 
conloquatus sit, et a Patre accepisse potestatem ad judicandum 
Sodomitas propter iniquitatem eorum. Iren. adv. heer. lib. iii. c. 6. 

Si enim crederetis Mayst, crederetis et mihi : de me enim 
iile scripsit. Scilicet quod inseminatus est ubique in Scripturis 
fjns Filius Dei, aliquando quidem cum Abraham loquens, all- 
quando cum eodem comesurus, aliquando autem Sodomitis in* 
dvcens judicium : et rursus cum videtur et in viam dirigit Ja- 
eoby et de rubo loquitur cum Moyse. Et non est numerum 
dicere, in quibus a Moyse ostenditur Filius Dei. Iren. adv. 
hasr. lib. iv. c. 28. 

T 2 


Nor was this language any way peculiar to a 
few innovating speculatists merely, who delighted 
to expatiate in wild unauthorised phantasies. 

Propter hoc Judsei excessenint a Deo, Verbum Dei non re- 
cipientes ; sed putantes, per seipsum Patrem, sine Verbo, id 
est sine Filio, posse cognoscere Deum : nescientes euro, qui in 
figura loquutus est humana ad Abraham et Aaron, et ad Moy- 
sem dicentem ; Videns vidi vexationetn populi met in jEgtfptOt 
et descendi liberare eos. Hie enim Filius, qui et Verbum Dei. 
Iren. adv. haer. lib. iv. c. 17. 

Verbum ait de rubo ad Moysem : Ego autem sciOf qwmiam 
non dimittet vos Pharao rex JEgypti abire, nisi cum manu valida* 
Iren. adv. hcer. lib. iv. c. 48. 

Filius itaque est, qui ab initio turrim superbissimam elidens 
linguasque disperdens, orbem totum aquarum violentia puniens, 
pluens super Sodomam et Gomorrham ignem et sulpburem 
Deus a Deo. Ipse enim et ad humana semper colloquia de- 
scendit, ab Adam usque ad patriarchas et prophetas : — et Deus 
in terris cum hominibus conversari non alius, quam Sermo qui 
caro erat futurus. Tertull. adv. Prax. § 11. Oper. p. 417. 

Quid si idem Moyses ubique introducit Deum Patrem, — 
omnia continentem et cuncta complexum, ut merito nee de- 
scendat nee ascendat : — et tamen nihilominus introducit Deum 
descendentem ad turrem quam sedificabant filii hominum, con- 
siderare quserentem, et dicentem ; Fenite, et max descendanms 
et confundamus illic ipsorum linguas, Quem volunt hie Deum 
descendisse ad turrem illam ? Deum Patrem ? — Neque ergo 
Pater descendit. — Superest ergo, ut ille descenderit, de quo 
Apostolus Paulus ; Q^i descendit^ ipse est qui ascendit super 
omnes ccelos, ut impleret omnia : hoc est Dei Fih'us, Dei Ver- 
bum. Verbum autem Dei caro factum est^ et habitavit in nobis : 
hie erit Christus. Deus ergo pronunciabitur Christus. l^cce 
idem Moyses refert alio in loco, quod Abrahse visus sit Deus. 
Atquin idem Moyses audit a Deo, quod nemo hominum Deum 


Both in and belbie die tmie of TertoDuui, the 
doctrine, conreyed br it, was die arowed doctrine 

mdeai^ ei 9i»mL Si videri ooo potest De«s ifaoiBodo 
Dens ? — Noo vtiqiie Suif i fiA ■mnitui. Ergo Tcfe 
Dens. Ex quo jntelligi pocot, quod noo Fhct ¥mb nt, q[u 
nnnqnam Tisot est : scd Filini, qui ct dg . icpmkie solitas est, ct 
Yideri quod deseenderit. Norat. de Trin. in Oper. TertoIL 
p.6£5,624. Vide edam Ibid. p. 6S4— 628. 

Hi]ipol. Comment, in Gen. Oper. toL iL p. 24. 

Ti}r ^e Zani^aw n^ 2ca tmt r p o^ y^ r wc ^^ ^^ 2a/iovi)X 
Ji^coXiSry cai iwurrpiftr tot Xaor tbn rifc ^ovXfiac rwr oXXo- 

ayBptnrop dvoKa^v. Hipped. Fragm. in 1 Sam. i. Oper. toL i. 
p. 267. 

*AvaXaiifiavuv ro Tpoottrov tnii Ilarpoc col Kvpcov rvr ^Xmk, 
TapiylrtTO eic ror irapaZiioov Ir irpoei^w^ njlv Gcoi/, coc m/iiXcc 
rj> 'Aldfi. Thec^. Andoch. ad Autol. lib. ii. c. 22. p. 365. 

*0 It iifiirtpoc irai^ayt#yoc, ayioc 0coc 'Iiyoovc, o xaoifc ri|c 
drBpknroniToc Kadriytfiitr Aoyoc' airroc 6 ^XaK6p«#roc Ococ cdrt 
irac^aywyo^. Aiyti ci tov, Zid T-ifc ^^^C> t^ Ilvcii/ia ro**AyiOK 
€CC ahrSw AhrdpKiitrt roy Xaor er r^ ep?//iy* Kvpioc fiovo^ ?yc^ 
airrovc, ira2 ovc Jk |1€t^ alnHv Beo^ dXXorpcoc* Sa^Ct oT/iac, roF 
irai^yi#yoK iirtjttiKWTai ^ ypa^^, r^K dybtyiiv ahrov ^itiyovfxivri, 
IlaXcy ^e, ^ov Xiyi; ^ca roO l^iov irpoainroVf kavrov o/ioXoycl 
irai5ayt#yoi'' 'Ey«rf Kvpcoc 6 0£oc aov, 6 cjayaywy cc iic y^c Ai- 
yvTTTOv, Tic oSv £x^t iifivaiav rov dyeiy ettrtJ re *:al cfw } Owx^ 
6 irac^aywyoc ; Ovroc ^^01? ry^ 'A/Spaa/u, icai JxfK avr^j*' 'Ey^ 
eifAi 6 Gcoc (Tov, cvap€<rr£i lyunriov /lov.— Tow ^£ Tai:i»/3 lyapy^^r- 
rara irtt«2aywyoc cTvai ^aiVfraf Xcyci yovy ahrf' 'l^v cy^ 
^€rd ffoVf ^ia<tfv\dererufy (re kv t^ 6?^ w-aenj, o5 av xopcv^pc. — 
Tovr^i ^£ icai (Tv/iTraXa/ctv Xiyirai. 'Xirikiiif^Qri Uy ^lycriv, 'lavi^/J 
/i«5voc- icaJ ifrdXauy fitr avrov AyOpwirog, 6 irat^aywyoc, /if'xpt 
^pfc,f.-_'0 Aoyoc iV 6 ttXe/xrijc «/ia ''V 'I«*^w/^ ^"^ irat^aywyoc 


of the Church Catholic. For^ in an ancient sym- 
bol preserved by that Father, one of the articles 
is : that The Word or the Son of God, who (tfter- 
ward became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, Mft- 
ously appeared to the Patriarchs \ 

But the person, who thus variously appeared to 
the Patriarchs, always styled himself jehovau : 

r^C dyOpiaic6rriroQ, — IIX^v dXKd 6 'Iaj:ii»j3 tKoXscre ro ovo/ia rov 
rdirov iKtivovy £T3o£ Gcov* £l^v yap, t^riaiVf Qtoy wp^atmroy 
vpoe vpoakfiroy' rai eautdri fwv fi ^X^'* l^^pociairoy Si rod Bcov 
6 A6yoe, f <^Tl(iTai 6 Oeds Kal yvtaplZtTau T6r€ koI *Iarpa^ 
iirtoydfiaarai, ore elSe tov Gcov roy Kvpioy, Ovt6^ iariy 6 Oeoc» 
6 AcJyoc, o trac^aycirydc. — Ahrog yovy oSroc Kal roy Mturia &• 
BdcKei weuBaywytiy Xeycc yap 6 Kvpcoc* Etrcc iifiaprtiKey iymiriSy 
fJLOVf c£aXe/^ai ahroy cr rfjc filfiXov piov' yvvl Se /3d^c^e« Kal U^^ 
yH<roy roy \aoy rovroy eig roy roiroy Sv tlvdy <roi» "EvravOa &- 
haaKCiKdQ tun waiSayiaylaQ' Kal ycLp ^y utc dXriB&Cf ^ca fjtiy M«#« 
creuiC) 7rai^ay(i;yoc o Kvpiog rov Xaov rov waXaiov* Bi* aWov ^c, 
rov viov KaSriyefiiity Xaov, TrpStrtairoy wpog wp6o'iinroy, Clem* 
Alex. Psedag. lib. i. c. 7. Oper. p. 109, 110, 111. 

Quod Deus Christus. In Genesi: Dixit atUem Detu ad 
Jacob : Exsurge, et ascende in locum Bethel, et habita illic, et 
fac illic altare Deo qui tihi apparuit cum fugeres a facie Esau 
frairis tui. Cyprian, adv. Jud. lib. ii. § 6. Oper. vol. i« 
p. 34. 

*AXX', dvaorac rpf rp/i-jy 4/icp9> o Gcoc rov 'lorpaqX 6 Kvpioc 
rove Bia<nrapiyrag ^Kobofirfcey ky iavr^ vaby &yioy. Dion3f8« 
Alex. adv. Paul. Samosat. quaest. iii. Oper. p. 221. 

'£^vrev(rav wrioy ai X^'P^C "^^^ Oiov 'lo'paj^X, bg l<rrly *Ii|aovc« 
Dionys. Alex. adv. Paul. Samosat. quaest. iv. Oper. p. 227. 

* Id Verbum Filius ejus appellatum : ejus in nomine Dei 
vari^ visum patriarchis. Symbol, vetust. apud Tertull. de pra- 
script. adv. hser. Oper. p. 100. 

CHAP. X.^ 

and, under that ipedfic diancttr of the 
EXISTENT, atways lecenred dhine adoratkn. 

Therefore, a profieaskm of belief tbat Tke Sam 
variousfy a ppe a red to the Paiwimnka^ is equiraleiit 
to a profession ofbdief: diat Tie ^m if jehot ah ; 
or that Christ potBenes trme aad proper i Stiakf f . 

2. It wfll, of oonrK, be obsenred, agreeaUy to 
the fixed plan oi the present discussion : diat the 
question before us is not, Whethersmeh am opimom 
be wellfomaded or iUfomaded. 

At present, we have nothing to do, with the 
abstract truth, or with the abstract falsehood, of 
an ophuon. 

We are solely concerned with an hisioeical 


Now the common asseetion of Dr. Priestley 
and Mr. Lindsey is : that None of the Antenicene 
Fathers ascribed to Christ proper and essential 

But the FACT is: that. Whether abstractedly 
right or abstractedly wrong in their opinion, the 
Antenicene Fathers believed Christ, by virtue of his 
being the second person of the Trinity incarnate 
from the Virgin Mary, to be tlie jehovah of the 
Patriarchal and Levitical Churches ; who was the 
God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and who in 
old times variously appeared to the Patriarchs. 

Such being the case, we may, if we please, 
think the Antenicenes quite mistaken in their 
opinion : but still the naked historical fact, that 


They held such an opinion, will obviously remain 
altogether unaffected by any estimate of their 

II. Dr. Priestley, however, teaches us: that. 
Respecting the nature of Christ, the true point or 
touchstone of difference, between the Antemcenes 
and the Postnicenes, is the doctrine of consubstan- 


If the Father and the Son be consubstantial, 
they clearly, he admits, must be physically or 


On the basis, therefore, of consubstantiality, he 
argues, rests the essential or physical equauty 
of the Father and the Son. 

Now, both the phrase and the tenet of consub- 
stantiality commenced, he asserts, with the first 
Council of Nice. 

Hence, provided his assertion be accurate^ the 
obvious and indeed necessary consequence is : that 
The Postnicenes held the consubstantiality of the 
Father and the Son, and therefore held also their 
essential or physical equality ; while The Ante^ 
nicenes denied their consubstantiality, and there^ 
fore denied their essential or physical equality 

Such, when reduced into few words, is the vital 
principle of all Dr. Priestley's long discussion *• 

^ Yet, by a singular sort of fatality, even the basis of this 
▼ery argument the perpetually stumbling historian is unable to 
by down with accuracy. 



r n 

To this principle, therefore, viewed 2iS resiiiig 


the Son was p rc m mmt d imhevg rta &4Mz stbrasck whA the 
Father 9 and thxeef(«x efnml in iim m all. 

Where did Dr. Priesdej find amy 
tainmg the eqnalitj <^the Sod to tLe Father io nil. 

as THS NECBSSABT KKSCLT of Acir CO K<4> m i A smniMTi 

The diluent pemier of ^ eld rrrif ■■wiri wji 
lieve» that the Historian has p ro da ce d mo wf tii iTy to that 
pose : and I consider it not as ^ leait xocpeaciBKBS of Dr. 
Priestley's reading, if I ▼eotnre to sar, that soch an nmhoiny 
came not widun its extent. 

In tmdi, theasseftioB of ^ primeral iVwtiiM of oovsps- 
STAHTiAUTT led the P oslnkrnes , fifce their ftdintasiiii the 
Antenioenes» to maintain, not The ffmmfiff nf ike Sam in ike 
Father m all retpeetM, hot ne e^mnlkf €f the Sen to ike 
Father in nature and dnraiwn onvr* 

They Uoght, as the Anteoiooies had taoght heibre them : 
that. In the Holy Trinity^ there it an emamaiiKt gradation and 
an qfieial economy. 

Thxexfobs they likewise tan^t : that» In pohU of order and 
office and mhmnanilaiion, the San is not zacAL, hni nrrzaion 
to the Father. 

Yet, with a most harmonioos disreg ar d hoth of historical 
fact and of oondosiTe reasoning, docs the strangely inaccurate 
author now heibre us make An eqnaliiy in all respeeU to be 
THS ncESSAaTCOVSEQUEKCs of the doctrine of Coius^/afi/ta/tijf. 

He has evidently taken up the same crude notion in regard to 
the doctrine held by modem Trinitarians : for be talks, as we 
have seen, of the phraseology of the early Christian Writers not 
at all according with the idea of the perfect xqualitt of all 
the persons in the Trinity. Hist, of Corrupt, part i. sect. 3. 
Works, vol. V. p. 36. 



be proper that we should carefully direct our 

By the confession of Dr. Priestley himself: Thetft 
who hold the consubstantiality of the Father and 
the Son, inevitably hold also the physical or essen- 
tial EQUALITY of the Father and the Son. 

Therefore, as he fully admits : They, mho hold 
the CONSUBSTANTIALITY^ and thence also the physical 
OR ESSENTIAL EQUALITY^ of the Father and the Son, 
attribute to the Son, by a necessary consequence, 


So stands the criterion^ as propounded by Dr. 
Priestley's own proper hand. 

Hence we have simply to inquire into the truth 
nicene Writers unanimously denied, and in reality 
were altogether unacquainted with, the postnicene 
doctrine of tlie Son's consubstantiality with the 

1. From the circumstance of the first Nicene 
Council having, for the purpose of frustrating the 

Verily it were strange, if their phraseology did accord with 
a speculation, which, at no time, either past or present^ either 
antenkene or postnicene^ was ever entertained by the Church 

Where did Dr. Priestley ever find a well instructed Trini- 
tarian, holding THE PERFECT EQUALITY, or (as he otherwise ex* 
presses it) the equality in all respects, of the three persons 
in the Trinity ? 

Never, surely, did a theologian betray such a complete /gno- 
raiio Elenchi. 

C0AF. X.]] OF TRDnTAElAMBlf. 283 

erasions of the Arians, introduced into their Creed 
the word consubstantial ^ ; Dr. Priestley, with his 
characteristic rapidity of decision, and without the 
labour of any further examination, has evidentfy 
taken it for granted, both that the word oonsub- 
STANTUL itself Yr9s first employed, and that the 
involyed doctrine of consusstantiautt if 9s first 
introduced, by that grievously innovating Synod 

Yet, had the historian submitted to the trouble 
of reading the Epistle of Athananus, respecting 
the Decrees of the first Nicene Council against the 
heresy of Arius ; a production, assuredly, of no 
very portentous magnitude : he would have there 
found an express statement ; that the Fathers q( 
that great Assembly did not invent either the term 
or the doctrine, but that they received both the 
one and the other from yet older theologians their 
ecclesiastical predecessors '. 

' Oi fuy civ iy rj Nuro/^ wrtXBorrt^f ravr^y iypyrtc Ti^y 
iidyoiay^ roiavrac cai rac Xiiuc (scil. aw^ia et o^ufov^wc) cypo- 
}]/ay OTi ^ ohj(^ kavrolc xXoiraKrfc imvoniaar ravrtic, iweiB^ rol 
Tovro TTpo^ai^oyraty &XX' &yi^y xapa tmk Tffo ain-Av xapaXa- 
jSorrcc tip^Kamy ^pt kqx tovto cuXiy^fuv, A than. Epiit. de 
Synod. Nic. coot. hsr. Arian. decret. Oper. vol. i. p. 420. 

See abo Atfaan. Epist. ad Afiric. Open vol. i. p. 721 ^ 72$, 
724 : where he adduces the similar testimony of Eosebius. EmI 
rAy waXatMy riyat Xoyiovc Kai ixi^yiic iiriaKairovg rac otfyypa* 
^oc iyyiiffuyf cxi r^c tov Ilarpoc icai Ycov Oeorifrogf rf rov ofto^ 
ovowv yjfnfirafuyovg oyofiari. 

The same testimony of Eusebius to the antenicene use of 


Of these predecessors, giving their own precise 
words in proof of his assertion, Athanasius men- 
tions Theognostus and Dionysius of Alexandria '• 
He also, to the same effect, mentions the labour- 
loving Origen : and, though the passages which he 
cites from that author contain not the precise 
word Usia, but (so far as the first-cited passage is 
concerned) only the word Hypostasis which by 
the earlier writers is used in the sense q{ Substance 
as well as in the sense of Person ; yet his accuracy, 

the word ofioovaiotf is adduced also by Theodoret. Hist. Eccles* 
lib. i. c* 8. p. 29. 

* OedyytoffTOt fxey, Av^p XoycocyoCr waprirficaTO to licrifcohulac 
siwtiy' ypatjuay yap wepi Ylov, ey Tf ^ivripf twv *Yinrvwmcr€tfyf 
ovTiac lipTiKey, 

OitK li^Biy TIC ifrriy e<^£vp£6el<ra // tov Yiov ohtriaf ohie Ik fi^ 
oyrtay tirtitniyBri* aWa tK ttjc tov Ilarpoc oh<rlat e^v* itCf ^ov 
^oiroci TO 6,iravya(Tfia' wq, v^aroc, aTfiiQ. Oxrrt yap to dxaih' 
yafffia, ovre fi drfiiQ, avro to vcwp E(TTiy, ij avrog 6 {jXiOQ* o8rc dk' 
XoTpioy. *AXAd dirdppoia ttjq tov Ilarpoc ovtriag' oh fupitrfiov 
virofiEiydtrrfs Tfjc tov Ilarpoc ovalag, *Oc yap fuyi^y 6 IjXiOQ 6 
auroc ov fietovrai Talc Eic\EOfiiyaiQ vtt' ai^rou avyaic, ovrwc ow^ ^ 
ovaia TOV Ilarpoc aXKoiioaiv vwi/jLeiyeyf tiKoya eavrijc t\ovaa Toy 

AioyvaiOQ ^c, 6 yeydfxeyoQ kiriaKoiroQ Tfjg *A\c£av^pc/ac9 — iwtiii^ 
vireyoTjdrj wg xolrifia Koi yeyriTOv Xiytay TOyYloy, Kal fii^ Ofwowior 
ry Ilarp^, ypa^cc xpoc roy ofiwyv^oy avry Aioyvtrioy Toy ItIvko' 
iroy 'FwfirjQf diroXjoyovfitvoQ ovKoi^ayTiay civat Tavniy kut avrov. 
MrjTe yap irotrjToy elpriKiyai Toy Yioy, dXKd Kal ofioovtnoy ahroy 
OfioXoyiivy ^ufiefiaiwffaTO, "Ex** ^^ avrov rj Xc&c our«c- — 

Ov TToirip.a oh^e Krlafia 6 tov Oeov Adyoc* dXKd c^U7v r^c row 
Ilarpoc ovaiaQ ylyyrifia a^iacpcrov tarty, Atban. Epist. Oper. 
VoLi. p. 420, 421. 


not only in r^ard to the doctrine of Consubstan- 
tiality, but even in regard to the very word Usia 
itself, is fully confirmed by the yet existing Works 
of the learned Catechist \ 

To these may be added TertuUian and Justin 
and Novatian and Ireneus : all of whom in so many 
words maintain, that The substance of God the 
Son is identical with the substance of God the 
Father K 

* Hrpl a Tov cH^iwc wreivai rov \6yov Tf Harpl, ecu /ii) crc- 
pac ohffiact dXXd r^c tov Uarpoc "uiov ahroy tlvaif mc ilpfi'^aaty 
01 iy rj avy6i^f iliart^ waXiy vfidf 6.Kov<rai ical irapa rov ^Xo- 
woyov *Optyiymfc, Athan. Epist. Oper. vol. i. p. 42S. 

£i ii Kol ffwfia OyifToy koI ^v\rly kydpmiriyriy dyaXafiity^ o 
d&ayaroc Otog A6yog loKti r^ KcX^^ dKkama^ai cou /KraXXar- 
Tta^C fiayOayirtiff Sri 6 A6yoQf rj ohaiif, fiiytty A6yot, ovZiy fuy 
Tav\ti Sy ir6.a\u to trUfia Ti ^ \pv\ii' irvyKaTaflcdymy C* ierff ore 
ry fi^ ivyafuyf airrou /lap/iapvydc koI rily XafiTpdrrp-a rijc 0ci^ 
rqroc pkbrtiyf oloytl aap^ yiyeTaiy avfiaTUciig XaXovfuyoQ^ Orig. 
Gont. Cds. lib. iy. p. 170. 

Communionem substantias esse Filio cum Patre. Orig. Com- 
meDt. in Epist. ad Hebr. Oper. vol. iv. p. 697. Edit. Benedict. 
Paris. 1733. 

' Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum. Tres autem, non 
statUy sed gradu ; nee substantia, sed forma ; nee potestate, sed 
specie : unius autem substantias, et unius status, et unius po- 
testatis : quia unus Deus, ex quo et gradus isti et formas et 
speciesy in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, deputantur. 
TertuU. adv. Prax. § 2. Oper. p. 406. 

Ego et Pater unum sumxis : ad substantias unitatem, non ad 
numeri singular itatem. Ibid. § 15. p. 425. 

Duae substantias censeantur in Cbristo Jesu, divina et bumana. 
Ibid. § 17. p. 429. 


Nor^ in truth, was either the term or the doc- 
trine any way peculiar to a few mere individoab : 
though^ of those individuals^ quite sufficient hare 
been adduced to shew^ in opposition to the erode 
phantasy of Dr. Priestley ; that Both the word oon- 
suBSTANTiAL and the involved doctrine of consub- 

Tj^v ivyafiiy ravrriv yeyeyyijoOai dwo rov UarpOQ, ivydfui roi 
/3ov\^ ahroVf c/XX' ov Kard. dxoTOfiilyf wg dwofiepii^Ofiirfic lifC Twr 
Ilarpoc ovffiaCf oirola ra &\ka irdyra fupi^ofuya koX r€fjir6fuva 
oh ra avrd loriv & Koi irpiy Tfitidijyai* Kaly TapaZdyjiaro^ X^^* 
irap€iX//^€(v Ta wc diro icvpoe dyairrdfieya Tupd mpa ipHfuyf 
olfBty eXarrovfiiyov tKilyov kl, oZ d yatpBily ai xoXXa ivyayraiy dXXd 
Tahrov fiiyoyroQ, Kac yvy £«c dToZttiiy tovtov kpQ, "Oray Xiyjft 
"EjSpc^c KvpioQ irvp irapa Kvpiov Ik rov ohpayuv* ^(fo oktoc cfpiO- 
fif firiyv€i 6 \6yoQ. Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 281. 

Sermo Filius — ^in substantia prolatse a Deo virtntis agnoici* 
tur. Novat. de Trin. in Oper. Tertull. p. 633. 

Unus Deus ostcnditur verus et setemus Pater, a quo solo 
haec vis divinitatis emissa, etiam in Filium tradita et directa 
rursum per substantiaa communionem, ad Patrem revolvitur. 
Ibid. p. 634. 

Hsec autem scripta sunt, ut credatis, quoniam Jesus est 
Christus Filius Dei : providens has blasphemas regulas, quae 
dividunt Dominum, quantum ex ipsis attinet, ex altera et altera 
substantia dicentcs eum factum. Iren. adv. hasr. lib. iii. c. 18. 
p. 204. 

Diligenter igitur significavit Spiritus Sanctus, per ea quae 
dicta sunt, generationem ejus quae ex virgine, et substantiam 
quoniam Deus: Emanuel enim nomen hoc significat. Ibid. 
lib. iii. c. 26. p. 217. 

Neque ab altero Deo dicere prophetas, nisi a Patre ejus ; 
neque ab aliqua alia substantia, sed'ab uno et eodem Patre. 
Ibid. lib. iv. c. 70. p. 301, 


STANTiALiTT wete famUior to the Church Catholic 
long before the days of the fir $t Nicene Camial. 
The very remarkable Ecthesis of the Councii 
of Antioch^ which, in the year 260 or fifty six 
years anterior to the Council of Nice, sat to con- 
demn the heresy of Paul of Samosata, stfll remains 
to demonstrate, if any further demonstration Kfere 
necessary, the gross inaccuracy of the historian 
in asserting: that Hie AtUemcetie Writers were 
ignorant of the doctrine of the Soiis coksubstax- 
TiALiTT with the Father; and that The occurrence 
of suck doctrine trill be found exclunvely in the 
later productions of the Postnicene Writers. Under 
almost every conceivable torn of phraseology, this 
Ecthe^, again and again, distinctly and speci- 
fically, asserts: that The Son, in respect to his 
human nature, is of the same substance with man ; 
while, in respect to his divine nature, he is ov the 


* *OfioXoyov/icr r6r Kvpior ifiAr ^I^^ovi^ Xpt^r^rf toy Ik rem 
Oar|>oc Kara wrtwfia wpo tUMpt^y ytwifiivra^ ii^ iayyr^v rmv 
i/fupmr cc vofBirov Kard aup€a riyfiirra^ Ir wp6c*0wor ^rOtror 
Ik dtAngro^ otfpaylow koI dyOpturdaQ aaptMQ' Koif icaOo UrOp^woCf 
iy* Kal Skoy Ocoy, col oXoy dyOp^nroy' oXoy Oioy col ^ra top 
OMfioroCf dXX* oif)(i koBo aHfta Oioy' Ktu 6Xoy ayBpi^woy fUTar^t 
Bt^nfTO^f dXX o^l KOTU r^y Oiunp-a dyOpt^woy ovri^c oXoy wpoa- 
Kwy^roy coi furd rov o^ftaroCf AXX' oirj^i Kara to o^fsa xpo^rv- 
yiir6y* 6Xoy wpomnfyovyra koI fura nfc 0i6niTOif AXX* oi^xl xaTa 
rj^v Btdrnra wpoffKvyovyra' oXoy dcriaroy irai fura row a^fiaTOCt 
iOsX ovx» Kard to aHfia dxriaroy* oXoy wXaaroy Kdl fUTO. r^c Oid^ 
nfroct AXX* oh^l Kara n|r dt^rtfTa TrXaaroy* oXoy Ofioovotoy Qtf col 
fitrd rov aunaroq^ nkXovyl Kara to aAfia ofwovaiov Tf Ocy* &<nrep 


2. As the very term consubstantial is used, 
and as the involved doctrine of consubstamtiautt 
is directly asserted, by the Antenicene Writers : 
so their favourite mode of illustration removes all 
doubt, in regard to their real sentiments on the 

(1.) For the purpose of shewing and explaining 
the mutual physical relation of the three persons 
in the Trinity, they perpetually employ the several 
images of a fountain and a tree and the sun. 

When tlMTiirst of these illustrative images is 
used : the iltther is exemplified by the Fountain ; 
the Son, by the River proceeding from the Foun- 
tain ; and the Spirit, by a Runlet or Stream issu- 
ing ultimately from the Fountain through the pri- 
mary intervention of the River. 

When the second of them is used : the Father 
is exemplified by the Root of the Tree ; the Son, 
by the Trunk ; and the Spirit, by the Fruit. 

oi>^£ Kord rriy 6c(5np'a iLydpunroig iarlv o^wovtriod Kolroi yt fxerd t% 
OeorriTog wy Kard aapKa ofwovfriog iffiiy' Kai yap, oray Xiyw|xcr 
avToy Kara xyevfxa Oe^ ofioovfftoyf ob Xiyofxey Kard wyevfia iiyBp^ 
fToiQ ofioovawy Kal ttoXiv, oray KtjpvtrffoiJLey ahroy Kard ffopKa ay 
OpbtiroiQ biJLOOv(Ttoy,ov Krjpvaaofiey ahroy Kard trapxa ofwovtrtoy Oef' 
Aairep yap Kard Tri^ev/ia 4/icv ohK early vfioovatogt ettci^^ Qe^ ion 
Kard rovro ofwovtriOQf ovrutc ovBe Kara trapKa earl Oef ofioownoct 
ixet^fl 4/iiK lari Kara rovro ofjLOovaiOQ' Hanep ^e ravra iiiipOp^rai 
Kal aeaa^ii y lar aif oifK cic hiaiptaty rov eyoQ 'Kpoainrov rov dhtai^ 
pirov, &XX* elQ diiXwaiy rov havy\vrov rtay Ihnafianay rife aapKog 
KnX rov A6yoVf ovrut Kal rd rrj^: ahaipirov avyOeaeiag frpeafievo^ 
fur. Ecthes. Antioch. apud Concil. Ephes. par. iii. c. 6. Labb. 
;' Concil. vol. iii. p. 979. See below, append, ii. numb, 1. 


When the third of them is used : the Father is 
exemplified by the Solar Fire ; the Sod, by a Ray 
emanating firom it ; and the Spirit, by the Apex 
of the Ray. 

Such are the illustrative images, employed, with 
singular uniformity, by the successive AnteDicene 
Writers, Justin, Athenagoras, Theognostus, Ter- 
tuUian, Hippolytus, Origen, Dionysius of Alex* 
andria, and Lactantius : and, since, from genera- 
tion to generation, they have thus been regularly 
transmitted as the ordinary common places of 
Theology ; we cannot reasonably doubt, that they 
exhibit the unvarying sense of the Catholic Church 
from the very beginning K 

iiunt^ Sri dft\iir irpo warr^r tUp Kri^ftart^r o Oioc yiyirrfiKt 
ZvyafUv Tiva ii cavrov Xoyiic^yf ifriJC cai S6^ Kv(H€fv Into rov 
nvc^/Miroc Tov 'Aylov iroXelrai, rori ci IftoCf ^ori It l^j^ia^ Tfrri 
di^AyytkoCf wore ^ Oeog^ trori ci Kvpwt cai \lrfo^, — 'Owolcr 
iirl irvpot opAfur &XXo yiyofuvoVf wk iXarrovfurov txtirov il ttb 
fl ^va^n/Q yiyorer* dXXa r&y avrop furorroct fuil ro U, altrw dy» 
Qi^kyj col airro oy faiyertUf owe iXarr^ay Ueiro U ci i/r^fO^* 
Justin. Dial, cum Tiyph. Oper. p. 221, 

'Arfi^roy ii koI d^mpioroy tov TlaTpoc Tavnjy r^y cvyafuy 
virapx^cKy 6ymp rp6woy to tov fiXIov ^oi f^ Iwi yf/c tlyat^ 
&TfAriror Kal d^itpurroy^ oyroq rov iiXiov iy rf ohpavf. Justin. 
DiaL cum Tryph. Oper. p. 280. 

Kal rot Kal airro to iytpyovy rolg iic^yovoi TpofffriKAc "Ayioy 
HytviiOf aT^fifioiay cTkcu fafiey rod OtoVf dxo^ioy Kal ixayai^fp6* 
fuyoyf itc dKrlya ^X/ov. Athenag. Legat. § x. p. 40. 

Qeoy fafiiy^ Kal ICloy tov A6yov uirrov, Kal ITvcv/io^Aycof, 
iyovfL€ya fiey Kara ^vyafitr, roy Haripa, roy Xiov, to llytvfia' 


Accordingly^ both the evident principle of the 
images^ and the most remarkable and most gene* 

6ti N0VC9 A6yoQf 2o^/a, Ytoc rod IlarpoCf koI dxdpfwnf ^ f«( 
dwo mposf TO nvev/xou Ibid. § xxii. p. 96* 

OvK e£ai0^v tIq cotcv c^cvpeOcT^a ^ tov Xlov obtrla^ ohZi U fH| 
ovrtav iweitrfrxOri' dXKa tie r^c tov HaTpoc oWac ifv* ^Ci tw 
^w6Qf TO dxavyatrfia' &Cf ^/^oroC) drfils< Theognost* Hypot 
lib. ii. apud A than. Epist. de Synod. Nic. oont. haer. Arian. 
decret. Oper. vol. i. p. 420. 

Prolatum dicimus Filium a Patre, sed non separatum. Pro- 
tulit enim Deus Sermonem, sicut radix fruticem, et fens fluvium, 
et sol radium. Nam et istse species probolse sunt earum sub- 
stantiarum, ex quibus prodeunt. Nee dubitaverim Filimn 
dicere, et radicis fruticem, et fontis JUivium, et $oUs radimm : 
quia omnis origo parens est ; et onme, quod ex origine pro- 
fertur, progenier est : multo magis Sermo Dei, qui etiam propria 
nomen Filii accepit. Nee frutex, tamen, a radices nee fluvius 
a fonte, nee radius a sole, discemitur. Tertull. ady. Prax« ( 6. 
Oper. p. 409. 

Exivit autem a Patre (Filius), ut radius ex sole, ut rivus ex 
fonte, ut frutex ex semine. Ibid. § 15. Oper. p. 422. 
> "ILrepoy Be Xeyciir, ov Bvo Qeovg Xiyta' d\\\ &c ^c ^k ^mtoq, 1} 
a;c v^iop Ik TiiyijCi V ug dicrlya diro {fXiov. AvyafUQ yap iiia ii 
tK row fcavrdg* to hk irav nar?/p, e£ o\) Bvyafiig A6yoQ, Hippol. 
cont. Noet. c. xi. Oper. vol. ii. p. 1 3. 

*II/X€lc fJL€V OVV fJLadoVTEif tIq COT^V 6 YcOC TOV GfOV, ICcU ^i 

aTravyafffid lari Tfjg Bd^rjQf Koi \apaKTrlp rfjc vTrooraoreii^ airro^ 
Kai drfilg fuv r^c tov Qtov hwa^ittaQ, dvro/^poia Be r^c tov Uay^ 
TOKpcLTopoQ Bo^Tic elXiKpivtlCf ^Ti Be diravyaofia (^iirrog diBiov^ ml 
etrovTpov aKriXiBwToy r^£ tov Oeov evepyeiag, Kal eiKwy rijfc (sya* 
OorriTOc aWov' Icfiey, 6ti ovtoq YIoq e^ exeiyov, Kal ixelyoc rovrov 
IlaD/p. Orig. cont. Cels. lib. viii. p. 387. 

"OyToc ovy altayiov tov Ilarpoc, aiwvtoQ 6 Yiog iffri, ^Hc t^ 
^airoc &y' ovroc yap yoyewg^ etrrl Kal TeKvoy' el he /ii) reKyov eti|, 


rally employed of the images themselves^ are of 
no mere human excogitation ; but have been di- 
rectly borrowed, by the ancient ecclesiastics, in 
many instances even to the very precision of 
actual phraseology, from the inspired volume of 
Holy Scripture. 

For, if the Church Catholic from the beginning 
taught ; that The Son is from the Father, as light 
is from light, or as a rcuf is from the solar fire : she 
only frdthfully delivered what she had first received 
from the Apostle Paul ; that Christ is the Reful- 
gence from the Glory of God the Father and the 
nery Impress of his Substance '• 

(2.) What, then, is the necessary purport of the 
images, thus perpetually employed, by the Ante- 

irdc «tt^ Tivoi tlvai Ivyarai yorevc J *AXX' eiaty &fi^Vf koI eiaiy 
dcL ^tiroc fuy oZy orro^ rod OioVf 6 Xpi^roc Itrrlv d'^avyaafia, 
Dionys. Alex. Elencb. apud Athan. Epist. de sentent. Dionys. 
cont. Arian. Oper. toL i. p. 437. 

Cmn dichmis Deum Patrem et Deum FUmm^ non diversum 
dicimusy nee utnimque secernimus. Quia nee Pater sine Filio 
potest, nee Filius a Patre secerni. Siquidem nee Pater sine 
Filio nuncapariy nee Filiut potest sine Patre generari. Cum 
igitur et Pater Filium faciat, et Filius fiat : una utrique mens, 
vam» spiritnsy una substantia, est. Sed ille quasi exuberans 
fons est: hie, tanquam defluens ex eo rivus. Ule, tanquam 
sol : hicy quasi radius a sole porrectus. Qui quoniam summo 
Patri et fidelis et cams est, non separatur : sicut nee rivus, a 
finite ; nee radius, a sole. Quia et aqua fontis in rivo est : et 
solis lumen, in radio. Lactant. Instit. lib. iv. § 29. p. 446. 

' *Oc &y dwavyavfia rrig ^6^tic Kal x^paJn-i^p r^c inrotrrdaebfc 
airrov. Heb. i. 9. See below, append, ii. numb. 7. 



nicene Writers, for the illustration of the mutual 
physical relation of the three persons in the Tri- 

Truly, even to say nothing of St. Paul's sub- 
joined exposition. The very Impress of his sub- 
stance, it stands out open and conspicuous and 

Unless we be prepared to deny ; that a River 
and a Runlet from a River are of the same sub- 
stance with the parent Fountain, or that a Tree 
and its Fruit are of the same substance with the 
Root, or that a Solar Ray and the Apex of that 
Ray are of the same substance with the Solar 
Fire : we must perforce acknowledge; that those, 
who systematically employed such illustrations^ 
could not but have maintained, that the Son and 
the Spirit are of the same substance with the 

(3.) The doctrine of consubstantiality, in short, 
is plainly and inevitably set forth in every illustra- 
tion of this peculiar description : and, if any doubt 
on the subject could possibly remain, that doubt 
would be effectually removed by the express state- 
ment of Origen, that these illustrations were de- 
signedly employed to propound and to elucidate 
the precise doctrine in question. 

According to the similitude of that exhalation, 
which proceeds from any corporeal substance, says 
he : so, likewise, Christ himself who is the Wisdom, 
emanates, after tlie manner of an exhalation, from 


the virtue of God himself. Thus the Wisdom, pro^ 
eeedkngfrom him, is generated from the vert sub- 
stance of God: and thus, according to the simili- 
iude of a corporeal emanation, he is said to be a 
certain pure and sincere emanation of the glort of 
the Omnipotent. Now both these comparisons shew 
most evidently : that there is a communion of sue- 
stancb to the Son xvith the Father. For an ema- 
nation seems to be of the same substance with 
the bopy^ from which it is an emanation '• 

(4.) The propounding of this doctrine being thus 
the avowed object of all such comparisons^ we 
shall readily understand, why the Nicene Fathers, 
as they borrowed from the long line of their pre- 
decessors both the term and the doctrine of con- 
substantiality, borrowed also from them, and 
through them ultimately from St. Paul, one of the 
most familiar and most regularly established modes 
of illustrating and enforcing that doctrine. 

' Christusy qui est Sapienda, secundum similitudinem ejus 
▼aporia qui de substantia aliqua corporea procedit ; sic etiam 
ipse, ut quidam vapor, exoritur de virtute ipsius Dei. Sic et 
Sapientia, ex ipso procedens, ex ipsa Dei substantia generatur : 
sicnihilominus, et secundum similitudinem corporalis aporrhoeaey 
esse dicitur aporrhoea gloriae Omnipotentis pura quaedam et 
sincera. Quas utraeque similitudines manifestissime ostendunt 
communionem substantias esse Filio cum Patre. Aporrhoea 
enim ofUMvtrto^ videtur, id est, unius substantise, cum illo cor- 
porea ex quo est vel aporrhoea vel vapor. Orig. Comment, in 
Epist. ad Hebr. Oper. vol. iv. p. G97. Edit. Benedict. Paris. 


When they declared Christ to be, Ood from 
God, true God from true God, begotten not made, 
being of one substance with the Father: they 
failed not to add, after the ancient mode at Sim- 
tration, and from symbols yet older than their 
own, LIGHT FROM LIGHT. For it was well known : 
that the expression, light from light, was, in the 
ordinary conventional language of Theology, and 
on the direct interpretative authority of St. Paul, 
precisely equivalent to the expression, consur- 


(5.) Illustrations, then, of this description, in- 
evitably and avowedly, set forth the doctrine of 
MUTUAL coNsuBSTANTiALiTY OH the part of the three 
persons of the Holy Trinity : and, in setting fcnrth 
such doctrine, these illustrations also yet addi- 
tionally set forth the doctrine of the eternitt 
both of the Son and of the Spirit. 

The argument, implied and involved in them, 
was, by the ancients, rightly propounded in man- 
ner following. 

If a Fountain or a Root or the Sun had existed 
from all eternity : their several effluxes or emana- 
tions, though respectively proceeding from them, 
must likewise have existed from all eternity. Be- 
cause, on the supposition of the eternity of their 
several originals, there never could have been a 
time, when such effluxes or emanations did not 
proceed from them : and, consequently, the proces- 
sion itself could never have had a commencement. 


But God the Father, the declared Fountain or 
Root €X Primal Glory of the Deity, has existed, no 
doubt, from all eternity. 

Therefore the Son and the Spirit, though gene* 
rated or emanating from the Father, must have 
existed from all eternity likewise. For, their pro- 
cession from the substance of the Father never 
having had a commencement, there never could 
have been a time when they were not \ 

' *AiravyairfJLa Si &y ^ktrog dlBiov, vdyntt^ icou airrdc (6 Xioc) 
dtBi6c corcv. "Oftoc yap del tov ^utoq^ ^fjXoy J»c e<rrly del r6 
dwavyairfUL' tovt^ yap Kal, Sri ^g larif rf Karavyi^eiy yoelrau 
Kal ^A^ oh ivyarai fii^ ^ittri^oy elyai. ETdXcv yap eXButfuy ixl ra 
wapaieiyftara. El ivriy 6 {fXioci tarty ahyif, early f/fupa* d 
rowvToy fiti^y eari iroXvye ^el koI irapelycu iiXwy, £t fiey cZy 
dtBiOc 6 4X10C9 &Tavaroc ay ^y ical fi iifupa. fivy Be oh yap 
hmy* 'Ap^fiiyov re, fjp^aro' tcoU, iravofUyoVf waverai. 'O Zi 
ye Geoc aiifyiSy eari ^Cy oivre dp^dfuyoy, ovre Xfj^Sy wore. OhK" 
ovr alttywy irpdKeirai. Ka2 avyeany ahrf ro dxavyaafia Ayap- 
j(oy leal dMiyevkg^ irpwpaiySiityoy ahrov axep early ^ Xeyovaa 
So^a' *^yit ^fifiy i irpoae\aipe' xadjifiepay Be ehi^paiySfAtiy iv 
wpoaunrf ahrov ey irayrl Koxp^. Dionys. Alex. Elench. apud 
Athan. Epist. de sentent. Dionys. cont. Arian. Oper. vol. i. 
p. 4369 437. 

*Or€ ro^ XiSg jwv el av, eyu» arifupoy yeyeyytiKo. (re, Xeyerai 
irpoe aifToy vxo rov Qeov, if del eari ro aiffupoy, OhK eyi y&p 
kawipa Oeov* eyi* Be ^yovfiai, &ri ohBe wputa, 'AXX' 6 avfixap' 
eKTtlvufy ry dyeyyip-f Kal d'lBi^ avrov (fo^f ty oSrwc Ciiro;, XP^ 
yoc, hf^p^ early avr^ aiffiepoy, ey ^ ytyeyyrirai 6 Y/oc* dpyfjg 
yeveaeus avrov ovr«c oiix evpiaicofjLiyriCf «C ohBe rfji fi/iipac, 
Orig. Comment, in Johan. torn. i. Oper. vol. ii. p. 30, 31. 
Hoet. Rothom. 1668. 

"Oky eariy diBtog 6 Oeoc* "Ovroc ovy del rov Uarpogf eari Kal 


3. From this statement of the doctrine of the 
primitive Church, it obviously follows : that The 
Antemcenes, like the Postfdcenes, maintained the 
EQUALITY of the three divine persons in point of 
tfieir NATURE and duration; while yet, Wee the 
Postnicenes also, they maintained their inequautt 
in point of their order and office. 

There is, in short, between the Writers before 
the first Nicene Council and the Writers after 
the first Nicene Council, no difference of opinion- 
Each, alike, held the doctrine of the con- 

TRINITY. Each, therefore, alike, by the somewhat 
unguarded concession of Dr. Priestley, held also, 
of very necessity, the doctrine of their equality, 
and thence Ukewise the doctrine of the proper 


I myself have done nothing more, than simply 
detail the evideiice. The cautious inquirer must 
form his own judgment respecting the hypothesis, 
which is the common property of Dr. Priestley and 
Mr. Lindsey. 

III. The objections of the Antitrinitarian School, 
which respect the broad naked question of histo- 
rical FACT, have now, 1 trust, been removed : and, 
with the mere metaphysical subtleties affecting 
the doctrine itself, I have plainly, from the 

di^iutc K'ai to tovtov diravyaafJLay 6ir€p ivrly 6 Aoyo^ a^rov. 
Atlian. Orat. ii. coot Arian. Oper. vol. i. p. I%(4. 


very nature and plan of wj discosskm, do sort of 

Hence I yentore to think: that our t atiuMmy, 


Antiqmty and the ApottoSad Dedaradom €f the 
doctrine of the tusitt, remains oonqdete and 

It has been my purpose simply to establish a 
tact: precisely as a diligent and impaitiaJ his- 
torian might set himself, if his evidence were sol- 
ficient, to establish any other fact, with the sub- 
stantiation of which he should lu^ipen to be oon* 

Now, unless I have altogether fafled of my pur- 
pose, the historical fact, which has been esta- 
blished, is this : that the doctrike of the TRiirnT, 


In the abstract; the doctrine itself may be 
very true, or it may be very false : but, in the 
concrete, the bare historical fact remains, in 
either case, unaltered* 

If, like Barcochab or Mohammed, Christ and 
his Apostles were mere uninspired impostors : in 
that case, though we shall still be compelled to 


admit the historical fact that they taught the 
DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY, wc shall in DO wisc be 
compelled to admit the abstract truth of the 


But, if Christ and his Apostles were no im- 
postors, and if (on the contrary) they really were 
what they always claimed to be : in that case, we 
shall be compelled to admit, not only the histo- 


For any professed adoption of a sort of middle 
course, by which We avowedly acknowledge the 
divine mission and the consequent infallible authority 
of an inspired teacher, and yet reject as untrue the 
doctrine which under that special character he claims 
to reveal, is certainly the very height of hopelessly 
irrational inconsistency. 

The general conclusion, therefore, from my 
whole argument, will be the following. 



■ 1 . 



- ■!] 






, I 





RESPEcmco THE AFPBOPftiAncnr or TVS icTSTfa, rmatfccrm or 

TEAE 269. 

Ik conJHDCtioo with Josdii jnd IreaevM mtd Tertaffiai 
Novadan and Oi%en and Tbcognoftss and DioDjiias of Ales* 
andria, I have not icnipled to addoee tite Ecthewt, prodaecd ia 
the year 431 hy the Cooncil of Epbeaof agunst Ncstonus, fiir 
the purpose of shewing : that Tke doctrine of the •ov't coH' 


inoenUd hy ike Comncil of Nice wkick sai » tie year 925 f 
kadf m irmik^ even milk ike mte of tke terf words OTZIA aad 
0M00Y2I02 or substavtia amd cost cbstavtiaus tkewueUe$^ 
been the estabGsked doctrine of tke Catkolic Ckmrckp ta regmUtr 
succession damnmardj from tke time of St, Jokn mho died in tke 
fear 100. See ahoTe^ book iL chap. 10. ^ n. 1. 

The groond of this addoction was: that The Ectkesis^ 
alihoagk brought forward by the Council of Ephesus in ike 
year 431 against NestoriuSf was really^ either drawn up by the 
Antiochian Fathers themselves in the year 264 or 269, or 
adopted by them as being a then already existing yet more 
ancient document which fully spoke their own sentimenis. 
Whence, if this chronological arrangement be accurate, the 


Ecthesis may justly be brought forward as an antenioene 

Such an arrangement of the Ecthesis I first met with in Dr. 
Burton's valuable Work on Tke Testimonies of the Aniemcene 
Fathers to the Divinity of Christ, p. S97 — 399 : but I did not, 
immediately, feel altogether satisfied as to its propriety. 

Under this impression, I fireely offered my objections to that 
gentleman : and, in return, he favoured me with the fbUowing 
statement, which convinced myself, and which he has kindly 
allowed me to make public. 

I feel no scruple in saying : that, when I admitted the Creed 
to which you allude, as a Creed drawn up at Antioch aj>. 269; 
I had some doubts, as to its genuineness. But I thought, that 
the evidence in its favour preponderated: and, upon recon- 
sidering that evidence in consequence of your letter, my fonner 
impression is rather increased than diminished. 

The objections against it appear to me to be two, which are 
stated by yourself. 

The document, which contains the Creed, cites it, as drawn up 
at Nice and not at Antioch. 

Thj Creed contains the word Sfioovtru)^, which the Fathers 
assembled at Antioch are known to have rejected. 

I. As to the first of these objections, it must be allowed, that 
the correction of ev 'Avrtox^^^ for ty Nuca/9 rests upon con- 
jecture and inference only : for the Acts of the Council of 
Ephesus published by Labbe, and also Euthymius Zygabenus 
(PanopL Dogmat. p. 141.), expressly ascribe it to the Council 
of Nice* 

These are, I beb'eve, the only ancient authorities, which 
notice the Creed. But I should wish to know: how many 
MSS of the Acts of the Council of Ephesus are in existence ; 
and whether they all read iv Nua/9. For I find : that the 


liAtiii Version of these Acts, poblished by Pdtaovs io 1576, 
ascribes the Creed to the Fathers siscinbkd at Amtiodu 

If it were not for the fireqnent reciiri ence of the word 
0§Aoovau>Cf perhiqps no person would object to die snbstitntion 
of *Ayru>xdq, for Nicn/^ For there b no other J cco unt 
soever of the Council of Nice having p rono un ced 
against Panl of Samnaata; who had been dead, when that 
Council saty at least fifty years. And, if they had tntended to 
condemn his doctrine: this Creed would hardly have been 
called "'EdcdtoiQ wpoc UaSXow Zuftomeaia^ but radber 'EjcBtme 
Tpoc rove TO TLavXoy ZoU^iorrac. 

I would add, that we have many histories of the Conncfl of 
Nice : and none of them contain mention of this Creed. If it 
were reaUy drawn up at Nice, it must have preceded that which 
was ultimately adopted* Yet, though Ensebius mentions a 
Creed proposed by himself to the Council, he does not say a 
word of any other being presented or agreed upon. 

!!• I now come to the second objection : namely, that The 
word ofioownoef which mo freqmemilff occurs m thi$ Creeds wa$ 
rejected hy the Faihert atscmbied ai Antioch 

This has been often asserted : but there are strong grounds 
for doubting the truth of the assertion* 

1. The two best Dissertations upon the subject, with which 
I am acquainted, are, by Bishop Bafl (De£ Fid. Nic ii. I, 9.), 
and in the Preface to the roman edition of Dionysins Alexan* 

BuU adopts die notion ; diat the term was rejected by the 
Council of Antioch : and gives a very satis&ctory reason for the 
circumstance. But, in the Pre&ce to Dionysins, there are some 
cogent argumenU to shew : that the story, of the Antiochene 
Councfl having rejected the term, was an entire &ble. 

The first time, it was ever heard of, was at the Councfl held 
at Ancyra about A.D. 358 : when the Semiarians, assembled 
there, put forth a letter, in which the Antiochene Fathers con- 
demned many blasphemous expressions of Paul, and among 
others the word ofwovatog which had been used by him. 



This letter has never been produced. By which I mean : 
not only that it has not come down to our times, but that Atha- 
nasius and Hilary had also never seen it. 

Hilary, who relates what took place at Ancyra most in detail, 
merely says as follows. 

Secundo quoque id addibistis, quod Patres nostri, cum 
Paulus Samosatenus haereticus pronunciatus est, etiam homo- 
ousiON repudiaverunt. Hilar, de Synod. 81. 

Athanasius tells us expressly : that he had never seen this 
letter f which mentioned the rejection of the term 6fioovau>£ by the 
Council of Antioch, 

'£xcc^^ ^6, w( avToi 000*1 (r^v yap ^ircerroX^v oltK ttfypv iy^\ 
01 Toy ^afjL0(raT€a KaraKplyavrtQ ItritrKovoi ypa^vrec elpfiKatrif fiij 
tJyai hfxoovffioy roy Yidy r^ Darp/.— £i Zk ivvarov Jjv chwopfimu 
Kol Trig €7riaro\ric fjy Xiyovaiy eiceiyovc yeypa^vcu, ^yovfuu wXc/- 
ovQ €vpedii(rt(r6ai rac irpo^avtiQ. Athan. de Synod. 4S, 47* 

Basil certainly states it, as a matter of fact : that the Fathers 
at Antioch calumniated the phrase as not perspicuous. 

AiifiaXoy r^K Xe^cv wc ovk evtrrifioy. Oper. vol. iii. p. 145. 

But Basil lived some time later : and we can prove, that he 
was not well informed about the matters, which took place 
during the time of Paul of Samosata. 

Thus he says : *A ^c circf ijrcic rQy Aioyvtriov, ^Xde /icv cic 4/idc 
Kol irayv voXXd' oh wapian ^c fitly ret j3//3X(a, ^lorrep ovk airttrrti* 
Xa/Lt€v. Epist. ix. p. 9 1 . 

So that he confesses himself not well furnished with evidence 
concerm'ng Dionysius : and he proves this most fully, when he 
goes on to say ; that Dionysius disapproved of the term hfioovatoc. 
Now this we know to be a mistake ; since Athanasius tells us, 
that Dionysius used the term : and, what is more, we have a 
Work of his remaining which actually contains it. Since, 
therefore, Basil adopted a false report concerning Dionysius, it 
was perfectly natural : that he should adopt another and a 
similar one concerning the Council of Antioch. At least, we 
cannot attach much credit to his testimony in this particular. 

As to Athanasius, he certainly doubted the truth of this 


story: and 
Dumytn, of 
Comunl if AmOoek, 

In r^ttd to 
avoided tie term, 
to be a 
Catholkt into 
tenn: jnd Mniiis 
aajs ; that Panl did 
Father. Oper. p. 16^. 

2. I come now to oAer crideacci, w mmjm^^i,^^ tW 
present befiyre as. 

If the Fathers as sem b le d at AndoA had n^eaetcd the 
woold probably not hare been m mot m thos dioone. 

Bot Epiphanras, qiralring of the p«fple of Antiorh noM, 
says : 'O/ioXoyovvt vc|h twm fl^ypsrr^ sw nr i ^ ui mw wur «nK 
ic/^aXXoiwir. Hser. Ixxin. 28. 

There was also another GxaKfl held at Antjodb a.d. M3 : 
in which the party of Meletias wrote a letter to the Emperor 
Joyian. In this letter, diey ddimdcd the term «/<M>v#«K;f to 
which the opposite party ob|ected« 

'CHrore tau to loamr ir tAr^ ^Vvr rtatr owofUL, ro rtm ufsoooowo 
fajUVf kofaM^Q r t ti xt^ rapa roi^ -rarpajwir tf^ruac* Socrat. 
uu 25. 

They would hardly have osed this langnage, if they had 
known of sndi fimnidable eridenoe being against them, m 
the official rejection of the term, a hundred years before, in 
their own dty : and I cannot help thinking ; that the total 
silence of Eosebius upon this matter (who would certainly not 
have been sorry to have heard of itj is some proof, that the 
story was not true : and it it also strange ; that the Arians 
shoold never, before the Council of Ancyra a.d. 358, have 

brought it forward. 

3. The arguments, hitherto used, might perhaps lead us to 
doubt, whether the story was not invented at that Council. 
But we have another testimony, which decidedly confirms the 


806 THE APOSTOUCITT H^^^^- !<• 

notion: that the term dfuiovcwi was used at the Council of 


Eusebius Dorylsensis, who lived a.d. 448» and who atreau* 
ously opposed Nestorius and accused him of agreeing with Paul 
of Samosata, quotes the following passage, as from a Creed 
drawn up at Antioch when Paul was condemned. 

Oeov dXtidiroy iic Oeov dXafiivoVf hfioovaiov rf Uarpl, 2t* ot 
ffcd oi al&ytc KarripriaOiinLy. Euseb. Doryl. apud Anastas. Si* 
nait. Hodeg. p. 324* 

It is true, that these words are not found in the Creed whidi 
is inserted in my Book : but they at least shew, that we ought 
not to object to that Creed merely on account of its containing 
die word ofjLoovtnoQ. In fact, the Creed, which I have inserted, 
is not properly a Creeds but rather an Expontion of Faith oon* 
ceming the Son only : whereas Eusebius may have taken his 
extract from what was actually a Creed. We can hardly oon* 
ceive, that the Council of Antioch did not draw up a Creed, 
beside its Synodical Epistles still extant : and, since two Councils 
were held against Paul, in a.d. 264 and a.d. 269, it is not im* 
probable, that two or even more Creeds may have been agreed 
upon. One of them may have been that, which was produced 
at the Council of Ephesus: and another, that, from which 
Eusebius made his extract. 

In the collection of Councils published by Harduin, I find a 
passage : which shews, that the Council of Antioch did draw 
up such a Creed ; and which may perhaps explain, why the 
one produced at Ephesus was said to have been agreed upon 
at Nice. 

This passage speaks of the great and holy Council at Nice 
having confirmed the decision of the Fathers at Antioch. 

BefiaikttrdtrfiQ roy opoy T^y iv *AyTio\€i^. Harduin. Concil. 
vol. i. p. 1639. 

If the Council of Nice, in its authentic Acts, really inserted 
the Creed of the Council of Antioch with its own ratification of 
it : this may have misled the Council of Ephesus. 

4. You will judge, whether there is any weight in this last 


argnm^it : but I really think the evidence very strong ; that 
The Aniiochene Fathers did not reject the term hfioovatoc^ and 
that They used it in their Creed. 

5» Whether the Creed, which is now under discussion, was 
drawn up by them : is more, than I can venture to decide. 

But, if there is no external evidence to make us think that it 
was drawn up at Nice, and if the only argument against ita 
being ascribed to Antioch is taken from the use of the term 
hiunwno^ : I should not be afraid of boldly altering Ncara/^ to 

The quibMe of Paul of Samosata, alluded to by Dr. Burton, 

With what cogency it is not very easy to discern, Paul chose 
to argue : that, if the Father and the Son were of the same 
subetance; then there must have been a common substance 
puoK to them both, out of which the Father and the Son alike 
emanated, or (as he expressed it) which was divided into the 
Father and the Son. 

The yerj existence of this quibble is of considerable histo- 
rical importance. 

Unless the term ofioovtrtoc had been familiarly known, and 
eonstantly employed, in the early Antenicene Church : it is 
qvite dear, that the quibble itself could never have occurred. 

The existence of the quibble, therefore, historically demon- 
strates the antenicene antiquity both of the term and of the 
doctrine set forth by the term. 




As a matter of great importance to the cause of Andtrinita- 
rianism, Dr. Priestley alleges the testimonies of certain of the 
Fathers, which, he thinks, distinctly prove : that St, John nnu 
THE FIRST, who clearly and boldly taught the doctrines of the 
preexistence and divinity of Christ. 

He then, to the aUegation, subjoins the following reflections 
by himself. 

After reading these testimonies^ so copiotis and so full to my 
purpose^ and uncontradicted by any thing in antiquity, it 
is not possible to entertain a doubt with respect to the opinion of 
the Christian Fathers, They must have thought: that The 
doctrines of the preexistence and divinity of Christ had not been 
preached with any effect before the writing of St, John*s Gospel; 
and, consequently f that. Before that time, the great body of 
Christians must have been Unitarians. And they are far 


excommunicated on that ACCOUNT. When we consider hew 
late the three first Gospels were written^ the last of them not long 
before that of John, which was near, if not after, the destruction 
of Jerusalem ; and that, in the opinion of the writers above 
mentioned, all this caution and reserve had been necessary, till 
that late period, on the part of the christian teachers : how is it 
possible, that, in their idea, the Christian Church in general 


ikould have been well estabUsked tn tie beGefofomr Lord's 
nity ? They must have smppased: thai. At the lime ef tkeee 
publications^ which was abomt the year 64, the doetrime cf the 
divinity of Christ was not generally held by Christiams* . At 
this period^ therefore^ it wusy be infenred: that. In thecpimonaf 
these writer s^ the Christian Chmrch was prmapaUy wutmrumi 
believing only the simple hmnamty cf Christ, and kncwing 
nothing of his (Svinity or pnSaastenee. Hisl. of Eadf Opie* 
l>ook iii. chap. 7. sect. 2. Works, toL tL p. 457« 

In another part of his Woriu ; appareodj by a p roc ess soi 
dissimilar to that, throng which a person, by the freqaont ce* 
petition of a fable, succeeds finally in persuading himseif that 
there must be a great deal oi truth in it : in another part of 
his Works, referring to what he had prerioosly written, Ih^ 
Priestley, with increasing confidence, adranees still further* 
. / have SHBWK, says he : that, by the csrircasAL ACKVOwtxoo- 
jcENT on THX ORTHODOX waiTXBS, ncUhcr the preexistence nar 
the divinity of Christ was pnbGely taught by any Apostle before 
John* Origin of the Arian Hypoth. Works, rcL riu p. 462. 

Such, with its asserted proo( is the allegation of Dr* 

. I. Now, even if we suppose the historian to have fully 
SHEWN this matter by the tnarcasaL acknowiedgment ot the 
orthodox writers : still, under that supposition, I do not dis« 
tinctly perceive, what benefit will accrue to his cause* 

1. So fiur as I can understand the value of such a demon- 
stration, it will amount only to this. 

The Catholic Church did not receive the doctrines of Christ's 
preexistence and dminityf until those doctrines were revealed to 

• Now this revelation, by the mriYEBSAL acknowledgment of the 
orthodox writers, as Dr, Priestley assures us, did not take place 
wUil the year 69 when St. John put forth his inspired Gospel: 
for, hitherto, neither the preexistence nor the divinity of Christ 
had been publicly taught by any Apostle. 

Therefore, until the year 69, the Cathode Church, never 


hacmg been publichf taugkt by any Apattk the doctnm$ rf 
Christ* $ pre^xiitenee and dwinity, did moI rtcwoe and embraei 
those doctrines. 

2. What then ? The inquirer will naturally ask. How does 
this circumstance promote the cause of modem Antitrinita- 

Really, I am quite unable to tell him. 

If Dr. Priestley's testimonies shew any thing, they sonj^y 
shew : that The Catholic Church dkd not hold the doctrines of 
Christ's preexistence and divinity^ until, m the year 69, through 
the inspired medium of St, John's written Gospel^ those doctrines 
were for the Jirst time publicly delivered to her ; but that. Ever 
since that ttme, she has faithfully maintained them, on the ground 
that they had been then publicly taught by direct apostoUeai 

8. ThiSf even by his own statement, is the whole, that Dr. 
Priestley's alleged testimonies either do or can establish. For, 
if, anterior to the year 69, the Church held not doctrines, which, 
at that time, had never been publicly taught to her by any 
Apostle : her conduct, I apprehend, cannot afford much matter 
either of triumph or of astonishment. 

Yet, how all this, even if we grant it to be well established, 
can benefit the cause of modem Antitrinitarianism : I am utterly 
unable to divine. 

I should rather think : that Dr. Priestley has been indua* 
triously sharpening a sword against his own vitals. For, i^ in 
the year 69, the Church was, for the first time, publicly taught, 
by apostolical authority , the doctrines of Christ's preejJstence 
and divinity : we may reasonably ask, why Dr. Priestley 
rejected those doctrines, when, according to the alleged tenor 
of his onm testimonies, they have been thus, by inspired apos" 
tolical (tuthority itself, fully, though not immediately, delivered. 

II. Let, however, the value, of what Dr. Priestley professes 
to have shewn, be what it may : yet, since it certainly aeemi 
strange, that the Church should never have known the doc- 
trines in question until the year 69, and that in that precise 


eventful year they should finr the first time fasre heen pnhlidy 
taught hy the inspired apostolical authority of St. John ; we 
may justly inquire, whether Dr. Priestley has reallif shewn 
what he cfatnw to have shewn* 

He tells us : that he ka» shewk the pomt l^efare ui Inf tk§ 
UNiYBBSAL ocknowlcdgmeni of the orthodox writers^ 

\. As this word unitxbsal is a very large word and mightily 
oomprehensiTe : so Dr. Priestley satisfies lU graspiiig veqnisi* 
tiona after a manner peculiarly his own. 

(1.) His jury of witnesses are, in nnmhery precisely twehe : 
and their authorities he produces, as he himself carefully in* 
fi>rms uSy nearly m the order of time m which the writers fiour' 
riehed^ Hist* of Early Opin. hook iii. chap. 7. Works, vol. wL 
p. 427. 

(2.) Now the oldest of his witnesses is Origen, who flou- 
rished ahont the middle of the third century: and the two 
pmmgest of them are Nicephorus and Nicetas, who both flou- 
rished in the ninth. 

(d.) How, then, can the empanelling of such a jury, ad- 
mitting them for the present to be unaninums in their verdieif 
substantiate the large adlegation of the historian : that he has 
actually SHBWH the pohU before us by the UNnrEESAL acknow^ 
ledgmerU of the orthodox writers ? 

2. I would not unhandsomely trouble Dr. Priestley to pro- 
duce evidence later than the ninth century : but I may justly 
marvel, that he should lay daim to the uvivsesal acknowledge 
wtetU of the orthodox writers^ and yet that he should call up no 
jurors older than the middle of the third century and only a 
single yaxox even o£that antiquity. 

One might think, that the verdict of his chosen twelve would 
not have been injured by the concurring verdict of their seniors f 
CSement of Borne, and the autlunr of the Epistle o£ Barnabas, 
and Ignatius, and Polycarp, and Justin, and Iren^us, and 
Athenagoras, and Tertullian, and Hippolytus, and Clement of 
Alexandria, and Cyprian, and Novatian, or any other Father 


of the Church either prior to or contemporary with Origen : if 
such c<mcurring verdict eould have been obtained* 

But the historian deemed it superfluous : and the voiee of his 
twelve men, good and true, albeit none of the oldest, is amply 
sufficient to complete the universal aeknawledgmeni of ike 
orthodox writers, 

III. If, however, the early theologians refuse to assist Dr. 
Priestley positively, by their unanimous, or indeed by ant, 
attestation of what he wishes to establish : they may, perad- 
venture, at least serve him negatively^ by the accommodatiiig 
excellence of holding their tongues. 

Something of this sort may seem to be insinuated by the bold 
declaration, that the testimonies of his select tfvehe are ukcon« 
tradicted by any thing in antiquity. 

The phrase any thing is as large as the word UNrvsasAL. It 
comprehends both uninspired and inspired testimony. As it is 
dangerous to use ; because a single exception will evince its 
fallacy : so it is easy to disctus ; because its discussion requires 
not, like its establishment, the copiousness of omnigenous 

1. Dr. Priestley's testimonies are uncontradicted by any thing 
in antiquity. 

What, then, shall we say to the distinct and perpetually re- 
peated declarations of orthodox writers, older than any of those 
adduced by the historian : that The doctrines of Chrises god" 
head and the Trinity, instead of being taught for the first time 
by St, John in the year 69, were harmoniously delivered to the 
Churchffrom the very beginning, by all the Apostles collectively ? 

Does this circumstance leave the historian's testimonies tiii« 
contradicted? Yet, in speaking of those doctrines, such are 
the declarations, of Justin, and of the Writer to Diognetus, and 
of Ireneus, and of Polycarp, and of TertuUian, and of Clement 
of Alexandria. The list might easily be enlarged : but this 
catalogue of ancient witnesses may suffice. 

(I.) Elg ndv yivoQ dvOpwiriay e\0<$vrccs ravra i^i^a^ap* jccu 


AI1023OA0I wfrnrnwyfoA^gmw. Jutm. ApoL i. Oper. fk 67. 
CoB^are Ibid. |>.4S, 46, 47,52,57, 58,65. 

{5L) AnOZTOAOIf ycvopcyoc fui6fr^, yiVoyMu &js«mXoc 
tBwmp ^ rm nfmHtBCB i n •{umc vaifprr«# ycyo/icPMc «Xf6fi«c fM« 
O^roic* l^itt. ad IHog. in Oper. Justin, p. 587. 

wtpmrMT r#c >% &c9««fi^'n|, vofM^ ^c r^r AnOrTOAOON Ctti 
rwr haiwwv fnaOtirwr rapaXa^ovon nfr Tiartv. Iren. adv. lMer% 
Ebw L c 2. p. 84. Compare Ibid. lib. i. c. 2. p. 84— 86. c. 8. 
p. 86. lib. IT. c 17. p. 248. 

(4.) Hie (Poljcaqms) docuit semper, quae ab apostous di* 
dieerat, qiue et Ecdesiae tradidit ; et sola sunt vera. Iren. adv. 
haer. lib. iii. c 8. p. 171. 

(5.) Ebionsi etenim, eo evangelio quod est secundum Mat- 
thaeum aolo otentes, sx illo ipso convincuntur non rect^ prae* 
smnenteB de Domino. Iren. adv. haer. lib. iii. c. 11. §12. 
p. 186. 

(6.) Hanc r^rulam ab initio evanoelii decucurrisse. Ter« 
tulL adv. Prax. § 2. Oper. p. 405. 

(7.) In ea regula incedimus, quam Ecclesia ab apostolis, 
Apostoli a CHRISTO, Christus a dec, tradidit. Tertull. de prae- 
script. adv. haer. § 14. Oper. p. 109. 

(8.) 'AXX' ol fitv Tiiv dkriBfi t^c fiaiccipiac okt^ovrt^ iihaaKoXla^ 
xapdiomVf evBvQ diro nETPOY re Kal lAKilBOY, *li^yyov rt 
cat nAYAOY, Twy kyitav AQ02T0AON, irate f^o,^ irarpoc 
ix^ex^furos* oXlyoi Be oi irarpciffiy SfjuHoC JJKoy Be €rvy Qef Kal 
tie 4/idc rd icpoyoviKd eKelva koX drromoKixd Koradritrofjieyoi tnrip' 
/laro. Ckm. Alex. Strom, lib. i. Open p. 274, 275. 

(9.) "Eoucer Be 6 JlaiBaywyos iifxiiyf i vdiBec v/i€<c> t^ Uarpl 
avnv r^ Oeft fAfrip etrriy Yioc ^yafAoprriTOc, aveir/Xi|irroc, Kok 
Arad^C T^y yhO(iiy Oeoc ev hvBpitvov o^yLan^ &')(jpayTO^^ warpi* 
K^ BeXiiftaTi BUucoyoQ^ A6yosy 9eoc, 6 ey Tf Ilarpi, 6 ex Be^i&y 
Tov Qarpocy 9vv <^al rf oxfffJLaTi 9coc* Clem. Alex. Paedag. 
lib. i. c. 2. Oper. p. 79, 80. 

2. But Dr. Priestley's testimonies are uncontradicted by any 
thing in anti^ty. 

314 THE APosTOLicmr [[app. n. 

That his testimonies are, again and again, flatly eootradicted 
by the really ancient writers of the Church : we have already seea 

That these same testimonies are yirtoallyy though deeiaiTdy, 
contradicted even by the very Gospel of St« John himadf : we 
shall next see. 

Most singular and most unaccountable is the oonftuibo of 
ideas, under which Dr. Priestley seems to have laboured 
throughout the whole of his discussion. 

His object is to prove : that John^ m the year 69, tkramgk tit 
medium of his written Gospel^ was the first, who pubiiely tmtgkt 
the hitherto not publicly taught, and therefore the hitherto eccU" 
siastically unknown and unreceivedf doctrines of Chrisfs pr«- 
existence and divinity* 

For this purpose, he adduces the testimonies of twdve 
several writers. 

And then he declares : that these testimonies are uncontn^ 
dieted by any thing in antiquity. 

Yet, all the while, even to say nothing of the constantly op- 
posing language of writers much earlier than any one of those 
whom he adduces, the very structure of St. John's written 
Gospel itself alone demonstrates the absolute iicpossibilitt 
of the feet alleged. 

(1.) I need scarcely point out the familiar peculiarity of the 
last published Gospel, as written by the beloved disciple of the 

Much less historical than any one of its three predeoesaorsy 
it is composed almost exactly upon the plan of Xenophon'a 
Memorabilia of Socrates or of Boswell's Life of Johnson* 

Throughout, it is dramatic, rather than narrative* Of the 
Saviour it recites numerous discourses, which appear not in the 
other more professedly historical Gospels : it states many of the 
objections, which were made to the peculiarity of his language : 
and, in short, it may well be styled The Memorabilia of the great 
Founder of Christianity, 

What, then, is the inevitable result from this mode of com- 
position ? 

NUXB. n.]] OF TUHITAUAXlXli. 315 

Onri J, h is die fisllowiii^. 

With the single ezoeptioii of the rensrkaye esordnon of his 
sritten Gaspd, it was phtsicaut m f u ssi siw, that Joho* 
tlisr he staled fiicts or wrote down discomes aader the 
CDce of that divine inspiratkai which effiKtoaDj prcaerred 
ftom all error and inaceoracy of detail^ coalrf c omuMuiicate aay 
tUng 9ew: that is to saj, with the sio^ exeeptioo of hk 
exordium, it was phtsicaixt ufFossiBLZ, that John eomld com' 
raimiratie any thing wkkk had moi beem prmomtlf kmmu. 

For those, who had heard ovr Lord's d k co mies , weO kmem 
what he had said, lomg before John anthoritatiircij eomantted 
them, £ai the hoiefit of late ^fottentj^ to the dnrabiliqr of 
wriiing ,* and those, who had mitmested the reeorded fivts, nast 
have heen folly aequtamUd with the fivts, lemg mUmar to the 
time when the fiicts themsdres were reeorded in imp er i s h ahle 

Henoe it is manifest : that The ovlt pari of the last wriUem 
Gospelf which cam gtrieihf he called new or which cam be viewed 
as prsmously umheard of ^ is its brief though very rewutr table. 

The true question, therefinre, is : Do wefmd mo stq^poied 
^catiam of Chrises preexistemce amd dieimity •» am^f farUof 8t. 
Joksis Oospelf sane ta the exordimm which stamds prefued to it? 

If this be the case : then it migfat, plausibly at least, be urged ; 
that John was the fibst who pMicly taught those f&xtiouslt 
vnaiawM doctrines* 

If this be not die case : then the exordium can be viewed in 
no other lif^t, than that of a compact and wdl digested state- 
ment of doctrines, which had already been revealed, and which 
in &ct (agreeably to the express attestation of the really early 
Fathers) had been known to the Church from the very begimiii^. 

Now Dr. Priesdey must have been well aware : that proc^ 
of the preexistence and divinity of Christ, no matter whether 
he deem tfiem valid or invalid, are brought by the Catholic, not 
merdy from the exordium, but also firom various other parts, of 
St* John's Gospel. 

316 THE APosTOLicmr [[app. II. 

Such being the case, every proof of this latter daKriptaon, if 
it demonstrate the divinity of Christ, will, of plain neoeaaity, 
demonstrate also : that the doctrine of his divinity ooald not 
but have been known long anterior to the time when tlie last 
written Gospel was published. For all such proo& are takoi 
from facts or discourses, which John indeed haa recorded m 
writing, but with which numbers beside himself must have beeo 
previously acqttainted. 

Hence, the very necessity of the mode, in which the last writ* 
ten Gospel is composed, physically precludes the poasibility 
of St. John having been the first, who, through the medima 
of his written Gospel, publicly taught the doctrines of Christ's 
preexistence and divinity. 

Thus, to give a single instance, the beloved disciple haa com- 
mitted to durable writing the important &ct : that Thomas^ m 
the presence of all the assembled disciples^ addressed hie SavwuTf 
without incurring the slightest rebuke^ by the compellatUm ofur 


Now the fact itself was notorious, long before St* John com- 
posed his Gospel. And, from the primitive ages down to the 
present day (See above, append, i. numb. i. text 26.), the 
Catholic has never ceased to view it as a direct and positive 
proof : that The divinity of Christ was well known to the whole 
body of the faithful, at least as early as the occurrence of the 

Therefore it is physically impossible : that John could have 
been the first ; who, under the aspect of a perfectly new and 
hitherto unheard of doctrine, revealed it through the medium 
of his written Gospel. The record of the fact inevitably 
demonstrates the anterior knowledge of the tenet. 

(2.) As illustrative of this mode of examining St. John's 
Gospel, I shall here adduce a very important statement of 

After giving us the most ancient Symbol extant, in whidi 
the godliead of Christ is distinctly and even verbally asserted 
(XpiffT)! 'Iriaov, Tf Kvpitf fifAwv Kal Oef), Ireneus goes on to 


fqpeat, what he had already said in his introduction of the 
Symbol : that The Catholic Church, in the beginnings received 
this fmih from the Apostles. And then he adds : that. In re- 
gmrd to SMchfaiihs there was no diversity of opinion throughout 
mny of either the provincial or national Churches, whether 
fnmded in Germany, or among the Iberians, or among the Celts f 
or in the East, or in Egypt, or m Libya, or in the middle re" 
gions of the world. 

Such being his testimony to a fact, we are obrioosly led to 
ask : jifter what precise manner, was Christianity, in the first 
mHanee, planted by the Apostles f 

The answer is : that They planted it, in thou various regions, 
altogether orally ; before any one of the four wairrcN Oos^ 
pels, much more consequently before the latest of them, was pub^ 
Usked by each several evangelist. 

This was the mode, then, in which doabtless Christianity was 
originally planted by the Apostles. 

Yet, by the express testimony of Iren^as, wherever they 
went, when as yet no written Gospel was in existence, they 
always preached the godhead of Christ. And, in consequence 
of this their antecedent oral predication, that doctrine was, 
from the very first, an unvarying article of faith with all the 
provincial or national Churches throughout the world. Iren. 
adv. haer. lib. i. c. 2, 3. p. 34 — SQ. 

Accordingly, in another place, Iren^us, with invincible force, 
presses home, against the innovating heretics of his own day, 
this identical fact : that Numerous Churches had been aposlO' 
UcaUy planted among the unlettered barbarians bt word of 
MOUTH OKLT ; and that. As these Churches received the doctrine 
of Chrisfs incarnate godhead (ipse per se hominem adunans 

DBO) without ANY WRITTEN LETTERS, SO, Still withoui ANY WRIT- 
TEN LITTERS, diligently guarding the ancient oral communica" 
tion, they preserved inviolate and unchanged the same doctrine. 
Iren. adv. haer. lib. iii. c. 4. p. 16^. 

(8.) To the illustrative testimony of Irendus may be added 


that, which is afibrded by the Episdes of the great Apostle of 
the Gentiles. 

Every one of those Epistles was composed and published 
prior to the Grospel written by St. John. 

Now the same doctrines, which St. Paul taught in his 
Epistles by writings he would doubtless teach to his comrerts 
by ftford of nunUk also. For it is incredible : that he should 
write one doctrinal system, and yet that he should preach 

But, in the Epistles of St Paul, according to the jadgment 
of the ancient as well as of the modem Catholic Chucdi (See 
above, append, i. numb. 1. texts 27 — 34.), are contained some 
of the very strongest written attestations to the doctrines of 
Christ's preexistence and divinity* 

Therefore, as Irendus most truly states imder the aspect of a 
then well-known and familiar fact, these doctrines must, Jrom 
the very beginning, and consequently long before the pubUeatian 
of St. John^s written Gospel, have been orally delivered, to all 
the first planted Churches, by the collective insured Apostles 

IV. The well-informed student of ecclesiastical antiquity, 
who recollects that from the very first the Ebionites were con- 
demned as heretics, will readily absolve me from the necessity 
of taking any lengthened notice of Dr. Priestley's assertion : 
that The early Fathers are far from giving the least AtiU of 
any primitive individuals having been excommunicated^ on ac* 
count of their believing only the simple humanity of Christy 

Such an assertion* closely resembles but too many other 
assertions of the historian : and with this brief remark I dis- 
miss it 

V. I might now freely 3rield to Dr. Priestley his twelve 
comparatively modem authorities : but, partly from a love of 
truth, and partly from a wish to give a distinct idea of his mode 
of writing history, I shall not suffer them to stand without some 


The witnesses, whom he summons to attest the asserted 
FACT ; that SL John was the first, tvAo, tn his written Gaspelf 
clearly emd boldly taught the doctrines of Chrisfs preexistence 
and dhnnity : are Origen, Eusehius, Chrysostom, Epiphanius, 
Jerome^ Ambrose, Cyril of Alexandria, Marius-Mercator, 
Cosmas-Indicopleostes, Theophylact, Nicephorus, and Nicetas 
the Paphlagonian. Hist, of Early Opin. book iii. chap. 7* 
■ect. 1. Works, vol. vi. p. 427 — 437. 

1. Now, of Dr. Priestley's cited witnesses, two, namely 
Origen and Ambrose, are imperfect, and therefore insufficient, 
in their testimony. 

(1.) These two writers do not say : that John was the first 
mho taught the doctrines of Christ's preexistence and divinity 
with clearness and boldness ; whence^ anterior to the publication 
of his Oospel in the year 69, the great body of Christians must 
have been Unitarians^ believing only the simple humanity of 
Christf and hnowing nothing of his divinity or preexistence. 

But they only say, even according to Dr. Priestley's own 
exhibition of their sentiments : that No previous syanoslist 
taught those doctrines so clearly as John ; and that John almost 
alone^ out of the four evangelists, has introduced them into his 
OOSPEL* Orig. Comment, in Johan. Oper. vol. iL p. 5. Ambros* 
de oonsens. evangel, lib. i. c. 5. 

(2.) Now declarations of this description are widely different 
from a sweeping declaration : that, Before the publication of 
St. John's Gospel in the year 69, the Church believed only the 
single humanity of Christ, and knew nothing of his divinity or 

Sueh declarations, as those of Origen and Ambrose, respect 
solelyt even ex professo, the four evangelists. They refer not 
to any other of the inspired writers : for some of the strongest 
proofii of Christ's preexistence and divinity have constantly 
been adduced from the Epistles of St. Paul ; all of which were 
written, as I have already observed, anterior to the Gospel of 
Su John. In regard to the specific plan and character, therefore, 
of the four gospels exclusively, the declarations assert only, 


what we all know to be true in fact : that John entered mio ik 
doctrines more largely, than either Matthew or Mark or Lvke, 
The comparison^ in short, lies, between John and the three 
other EVANGELISTS, not between John and Paul. 

2. A similar measure of inaccuracy characterises Dr. Priest- 
ley's management of the language of Eusebius. 

(1.) That historian does not say : that John was thb ritsT 
who clearly taught in his written Gospel the doctrines of Chrisfs 
pre'existence and divimty; and that, For want of such antecedent 
teaching, the Church, prior to the year 69, was doctrinaUy anti^ 
trinitarian and humanitarian. 

He only tells us : that, While Matthew and Mark and Luke 
chiefly related those actions of our Lord, which were performed 
after the imprisonment of tlie Baptist ; John detmled those which 
preceded that imprisonment, beginning his Gospel with his 
Master* s divinity which by the Holy Spirit had been more pecu^ 
liarly reserved to him as their superior, Euseb. Hist* Ecdes. 
lib. iii. c. 24. 

(2.) Here, as in the former case of Origen and Ambrose, we 
have nothing more than a remark, which exclusively afiects the 


Eusebius very truly states : that the fourth Gospel was 
written on a different principle from that of its three prede- 
cessors. For, while the three first Evangelists were led by 
the Spirit to give an accurate detail of the later actions of 
Christ, the fourth Evangelist was led by the same Spirit to note 
indeed his earlier actions, but chiefly to enter largely and fully 
into the doctrine of his divinity. 

(3.) In good sooth, had Eusebius asserted any such matter 
as Dr. Priestley would put into his mouth, he would have flatly 
contradicted himself. For, in the course of the very same 
chapter he tells us : that John, who liad long orally preached 
the doctrinal truths of Christianity without using any written 
document, was finally induced to commit his sentiments and his 
information to the durability of immortal letters. The result 
of this was tlic production of the fourth Gospel. 


Acoordingy tben^ to Easebint, wben Ensefam k £nilj aDovcd 
to tell his own story : what John fiuJlj co p i niitted to wmimg, he 
had preYioofly been in the ronsrant habit of 0raUjf frtacimg. 

Now, what t/oAs oraDy prrached, we are qnxte sure, that «ll 
At# o/Aer bretkrem of the Apo t to i kai CoUtgtf eqnaOy and bar* 
monioofly, preached oraDy likewise. 

The testimony of Enaebhuy t h er e fore, intfead of diewiug 
that the doctrines of Christ** preexisteiice and dirintty were 
only for the first time dearly rercaled to the Church whcs 
John published his written Gospel, djUinrtly shews the very 
reverse. For it shews : that The identical doctrines, whick 
were finally committed to wriiiMg, had always, before that time, 
been orally preached and declared. 

8m Much the same remarks equally Mffly to Dr. Priestley's 
treatment of Chrysostom. 

(1.) This writer, alter giving a comparatire acco unt of 
the four Eyajigeijsts exactly similar to that of Cosebios, con* 
dudes with an obsenration, which contradicts, instead of corro- 
borating, the wild speculation of the modem historian of Early 

John on the one hand, be tells us, and the three prior Etast* 
OELiSTS on the other hand, had respectiTcly their own proper 
plan marked out by the good Spirit of God. But still none of 
them so r^pdly adhered to their scrveral plans, as not mutually 
to paitidpate in the plans of each other. Thus, if John was 
not so absOTbed in his higher theme of the Lord*s divinity, but 
that he could also briefly touch upon tlie economy of his 
human incarnation : Matthew and Mark and Luke, conversely, 
were not so tied to a bare narrative of actions, as to be silent 
in r^;ard to his eternal preexistence. For it was one and the 
same Spirit, who influenced the minds of them all. 

*0 Si. 6itoy fura tovtq Oavfiaffaif tKiiyo fiaXivra ccitcIk iart^ 
Sri fif/re ovroc» «'poc roy w^^iyXorcpoK tavrov \6yov a^ic> r^C o*' 
Korofiiac ijfuXjivt' l^h^^ tKiivoij rriv xcpc ravn^c ivTcovloKdrtQ Ci^- 
yiioiv^ Tfir wpoaUtrioy ioiyritiav vxap^iK. Kai |iu\a tli:6Tta^' \y 
yap j|y to Tlvtvfia to kivovv tclq avavTW v//i;;(a(. Aio koX toX-* 



X^t^, wipl rilr iLwayytklayf m3ec{a>T0 ri^v 6fi6roia¥, Chryaost 
Homil. iT. in JohaD. i. 1. 

(2.) Instead of lettii^ John in a tort of opposition to die 
three prior Evangelists, as Dr. Priestley wonld have him do : 
Chrysostom avowedly celebrates the abundant (ireXX])y) motoal 
concord and harmony of all the four. 

4. Let us next pass conjointly to Epiphanius and Jerome* 

(1.) Dr. Priestley's grave adduction of these two writen is 
not a little unaccountable: for, like Chrysostom, they bear 
testimony directly adverse to the opinion, which they are oddly 
brought forward to support* 

Epiphanius declares: that John wrote his Gospel toeofi haek 
into the fold of the Church those who had unhappily ttraifei 
from it into the heresy of Humanitarianism. Epiph. Hsr. 
Ixix. 23. 

And Jerome asserts : that the Apostle composed his Gospel, 
at the intreaty of the Asiatic Bishops, for the purpose of con^ 
founding the Cerinthians and the Ebionites, who, though with 
some difference of modification, alike maintained, that oar 
Lord had no existence before his birth from Mary. Hieron. 
Oper. vol. vi. Prooem. in Matt. Evan. 

(2.) Thus speak Dr. Priestley's two witnesses, Epiphanius 
and Jerome. 

If, then, John wrote his Gospel, to bring back those who 
had wandered /rom the truth of Orthodoxy into the error of 
Humanitarianism ; and if he wrote at the request of the Asiatic 
Bishops, to confound the heresy of the Cerinthians and the 
Ebionites : it is quite clear, from the very necessity of sudi 
statements, that he could not, by the act of publishing his Gos* 
pelf have been the frst who clearly and boldly taught the doc- 
trines of Christ's preexistence and divinity ; and it is equally 
clear, from the very necessity of the same statements, that the 
Church could not, anterior to the publication of his Gospelt 
have been ignorant of Christ's preexistence and divinity, and 
thence (as Dr. Priestley would persuade us) have believed 
only in his simple humanity. 


For the wanderers, whom John sought to reclaim^ had actu« 
ally strayed fnm those identical doctrines of Christ's preexist- 
ence and divinity : and the Asiatic Bishops, at whose special 
rmuest he wrote against the humanitarian heresy, certainly 
eoold not themseheMf either have been ignorant of the doctrines 
in question, or have all the while been holding that very hu« 
manitarian dogma which they beso.nght him to confound by the 
antliority of his apostolical censure* 

Hence, even on the very surface of the case, it is manifest t 
both that the wanderers must have originally held the doctrines 
of Christ's preexistence and divinity, and that the Asiatic Di« 
diops must always have held them. For no man can be brought 
back to what he had never forsaken : and no man can gravely 
uige the condemnation of a doctrine, which he himself has never 
ceased to maintain. 

Epiphanius and Jerome, therefore, are witnesses, not for Dr. 
Priestlejr's wild speculation, but against it. So far as their 
testimony can avail, they distinctly prove : that The doctrines 
of Christ's preexistence and ^inity were the familiar and esta» 
hlished doctrines of the Catholic Churchy before St. John wrote 
and published his Gospel. 

6, But the most gross and shameless perversion of an 
ancient author, which it has ever been my fortune to encounter, 
it involved in Dr. Priestley's adduction of Cjrril of Alexandria. 

(1.) The Emperor Julian had alleged: that Christians did 
not abide even by what had been declared by the Apostles, 

Forf said he, neither Paul nor Matthew nor Luke nor Mark 
had ever dared to call Jesus ood, but only the good man John : 
mnd he was induced to do so, merely because a great multitude^ 
both in the greek and in the italian cities, had been infected with 
the humour of deifying and worshipping the decetued. CyrUt 
Alex, cont Julian, lib. x. p. 827. 

(jl.) Such, in form was the allegation of Julian : and Cyril 
meets it, not by an acknowledgment of its general truth, but by 
aflai contradiction of it altogether. 

John, says he, was not the first, who called Jesus ood. Bui 

Y % 


those f who wrote before him, Luke, I mean, and Matthew and 
Mark, called him lord and ood : every where ascribing to An» 
the highest glory. 

'AXX* oifde TTpwTOQ £<^fi Oeoy elvai rov 'Ititrovv' AXXa koX ol wpo 
ahrov ycypa^orccy AovkcLq re ^i^fic, Kal MarOaioc, ira2 fiir rot koX 
MapicoCf Kvpioy 2c koI Oeov dtySfiaCoy ahroy, rijy inreprdrfir Uiay 
iLTToyifioyreg irayraxov. Cyril. Alex. cont. Julian, lib* x. p. SSI* 

The mode, in which the earlier Evangelists called Christ ood, 
be states to be, partly by their setting forth the fact of hii 
miraculous conception in the character of emanuel or of god 
WITH us, and partly by their denominating him the son of god: 
inasmuch as the phrase, the son of god, indicates, of necessity, 
The Son*s Consubstantiality and Coeternity with the Father. 
For, says Cyril, they well knew : that He is god in nature and 
in verity. See below, append, ii. numb. 10. 

Christ being thus true ood, because he is the consubstantial 
and coetemal son of god, John (as Cyril proceeds to state) 
consistently teaches us : that In the beginning was the Word; 
and that God was with God, Cyril. Alex, cont Julian, lib. x* 
p. 328. 

So much for the three earlier Evangelists. With respect to 
Paul, whom the Emperor had associated with them in bis alle- 
gation, Cyril here again meets his opponent with a flat denial : 
and he proves his point, precisely as the Church Catholic in all 
ages has proved it. 

Paul, says Jidian, never dared to call Jesus god. 

You totally err, replies Cyril, For Paul expressly calls him 
god, when, in his Epistle to the Romans, he says : Whose are 
the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came; 
who is over all god blessed for ever, Cyril. Alex. cont. Julian, 
lib. X. p. 328. 

(3.) These are the materials, on the strength of which, 
incredible as it may well seem, Dr. Priestley alleges Cyril, 
as asserting : that Neither Matthew nor Mark nor Ltike ever 
taught the divinity of Christ; but that That doctrine was, for. 
the first time, publicly and boldly declared by St, John. 


Doubtlessy such an assertion is to be found in the Wark$ ot 
Cyril : but, in truth, the real proprietor of the assertion is, not 
Cyril himself f but the apostate Emperor Julian* 

6. The only witnesses, whom Dr. Priestley can now, in any 
sort, call his own, are Marius-Mercator, Cosmas-Indicopleustes, 
Theophylact, Nicephorus, and Nicetas the Paphbgonian. 

In my retired situation, I have not those authors at hand br 
the useful purpose of verification* But, if I may draw any 
inference from the general character of Dr. Priestle/s his* 
torical discoveries, I should strongly suspect ; that they have 
been grievously misrepresented: I should strongly suspect; 
that they never affirm, what Dr. Priestley alleges tliem to 

Be this, however, as it may ; even if they have advanced the 
monstrous and absurd assertion ascribed to them : still, in a 
question of the present nature, chronology alone might well 
forbid the assigning of any weight to their authority. 

Marius-Mercator, the earliest of Dr. Priestley's remaining 
witnesses, lived in the fifth century: Cosmas-Indicopleustes, 
in the sixth: Theophylact, in the seventh: and Nicephorus 
and Nicetas, in the ninth. 

Not one of them, in short, can be reckoned an ancient wit* 
ness : a witness, that is to say, who, from his nearness to the 
times of the Apostles, might give a really valuable and authori- 
tative testimony. 

In the professed redundance of Dr. Priestley's evidence, he 
actually produces only a single solitary witness from the three 
first ages : and that witness. Origan to wit who flourished not 
earlier than the middle of the third century, is nothing to his 



I HAVE already noticed the extraordinary historical infarmation, 
which Dr. Priestley professes to derive from the language of 
Origen (See above, book ii. chap. 4.) : it may be useful, in the 
way of illustrating his very peculiar mode of writing history, 
to observe yet further his dealings with that ancient Fatlier. 

I. Origen, Dr. Priestley tells us, considered it as doubtful; 
whether, since all things were made by Christ, the Spirit also 
was not made by him : and the historian then proceeds to verify 
his remarkable assertion through the medium of a passage, in 
which Origen expresses no doubt at all. See Hist, of Early 
Opin. book ii. chap. 9. sect. 1. Works, vol. vi. p. 303. 

This paradox may well nigh seem incredible : but the truth 
is ; that the notion of Origen *s doubtfulness was hastily caught 
up, in direct opposition to his own express statement, from a 
superficial view and a total misapprehension of the preceding 

1. Origen's imaginary doubtfulness is, in reality, a brief 
account of three several opinions : one of which seems to be a 
purely hypothetical case ; and another of which is evidently 
meant, as an exhibition of the doctrine of the Patripassians. 

Since it is a truth, says he, that all things were made by the 
Word : let us now inquire ; Whether the Holy Spirit was also 
made by him. 


Now I think : that a perstm^ who believes the Spirit to heme 
been made^ and who alleges the text All things were made by the 
Word^ must needs hold; that the Word made the Spirit. 

But the person^ who denies that the Spirit was made by Christy 
and who yet believes the assertion in the Gospel to be true, must 
maintain : that the Spirit was unmade. 

A third person, again, may advance yet another opinion : for 
he may teach ; that the Holy Spirit has no existence distinct 
from the Father and the Son, 

But, if this man will only give his attention, he may the rather 
think that the Son is distinct from the Father, intumuch as there 
is an evident distinction made between the Son and the Spirit in 
that text : Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of 
man, it shall be forgiven him ; but, whosoever shall blaspheme 
against the Holy Ghost, he shall not have forgiveness either in 
this or in the future world. 

2. Such is the preceding context : and then follows the pas* 
sage, which Dr. Priestley adduces in connection with it, by way 
of proving ; that Origen thought it a matter of doubts whether 
the Holy Spirit was not made by Christ. 

But we, indeed; who are persuaded that there are three hypos^ 
tases, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and who 
heUeve, that nothing beside the Father is unbegotten : we motii- 
Uun, as being more pious and true ; that, although all things 
were made by the Word, yet the Holy Spirit is more honourable 
in degree than all those things which were made through Christ 
by the Father. Comment, in Johan. tom. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 56. 

d. Agreeably to this decision, which is plainly given in op- 
position to those who would either reduce the Spirit to the rank 
of a creature or confound him with the Father and the Son 
coDJoindy, Origen, in the course of the same Work where he 
makes it, more than once speaks of the Holy Ghost as being 
the third person of the Trinity : remarking, that, tf to the 
Father and the Son you add the Spirit, your theology will then 
be the best and the most perfect. Ibid. p. 397, 416. 

4. The speculation, Whether the Holy Ghost was not made 



by the Word because all things were made by the Ward^ is ob- 
viously a mere quibble, which Origen amuses himself with 
discussing. But, as for his entertaining any doubt himself on 
the subject, his own words, even as cited by Dr. Priestley, are 
utterly irreconcileable with such a notion. 

The Father, as the fountain of Deity, he maintains, with the 
Catholic Church in every age, to be alone unbegotten or self- 
originating : while the Word is the only-begotten Son of the 
Father ; and while the consubstantial Spirit proceeds from the 
Father by the Son. 

II. Dr. Priestley furthermore cites two several passages 
from Origen, for the purpose of shewing : that Origen alto- 
gether rejected the religious adoration of the Son. 

1 • According to the first of tlie cited passages, Origen speaks 
as follows. 

No Christian prays to any other than to the God who is over 
ally by our Saviour^ the Son of God, who is the Logos and the 
Wisdom and the Truth, Orig. apud Hist, of Early Opin* 
book ii. chap. 4. Works, vol. vi. p. 254. 

(1.) In his wonted eager desire to establish by whatsoever 
means a favourite position, the historian has unluckily quite 
forgotten to tell his readers : that, in the course of the very 
same brief passage whence his citation is taken, Origen spe* 
cially disavows the opinion wherewithal it is attempted to saddle 

As he teaches us, that Christ is the living Word and God : 
so, in strict harmony with such instruction, he adds ; that while 
we pray to the Father through the Word, it is also our duty, to 
supplicate the Word himself , and to offer up intercessions to 
him, and to fray to him. 

Tiaaav fiev ydp ^irfaiv, icai irpoaevxrjv, Kal lyrev^iy, Kal ev* 
j^aptoTtov, dyairefiwrioy rif lin. irdtri Gc^, ^id rov ivl tcdyrtav <£y- 
yi\(i)y dpy^iepidjQf efiyf/if^^pv Aoyov Kal Qeov, Aerfaofieda Kal avrov 
TOv Aoyov, Kal iyrev^ofjieda avTip, Kal tv^apitniiaofityj Kal IIFOS- 
EY^OMEGA Zkf kdv hvyuffxeda KaraKovny r^c wepl vpotrev^f/^ 
KvpioXe^aQ Kal Kara')(piiatiMiQ. Orig. cont. Cels. lib. v. p. 233. 


After duty follow four lines, in which Origen reprobates the 
worship of angels : and then occurs the clause, from which, 
because it inculcates the worship of God the Father through 
the mediatorial Son, Dr. Priestley has rapidly learned and tri- 
umphantly communicated, that Origen rejected altogether 
the mirship of Christ, 

A^n} ^ iirurr^fifi, wcLpatrrfitraaa ri)v ^vtriv ahr&y Koi kif oTc 
cfffcr €Kaj9TtH. (scil. dyyiXoi) Ttrayfiiyoi, ohK idtret AXKf da/^ly 
tu)(€adaif f) Tf l^f^6c frdrra BiapKil M irdffi Oef, Bid rov 2<iir^poc 
ilfiSr Yiov tov Gcov* 8c core AdyoQy cal 2o^ia, kqI 'AX^Oeia, 
Kal Sva 6!XXa Xiyovtri W€pl airrov ai rQv irpoi^rfTiiy rov Oeov xal 
rUr dxoar6\iuv rov *lritmv ypafaL Ibid. lib. v. p. 233. 

(2.) According to Origen, the Father is to be worshipped 
with his own proper worship ; and the Son is aUo to be wor- 
shipped with his own proper worship : inasmuch as the Father 
is Cvod over all ; and inasmuch as the Son is the living Word 
and God. 

The opposition lies, not between the adoration of the Father 
and the adoration of the Son^ but between the adoration of the 
Father through the Son and the idolatrous adoration of angels. 

(3.) That part of Origen's statement, which respects the 
adoration of the Son^ whether it be in the way of intercession 
or of thanksgiving or of prayer, Dr. Priestley deliberately sup* 
presses : and then, citing alone that other part which inculcates 
the worship of the Father through the Son in opposition to the 
idolatrous worship of angels, he, on the strength of this garbled 
citation, assures his readers; that Origen rejected altoge- 
ther the worship of the Son. 

ft. The historian, however, quotes yet another passage from 

If we know what prayer is, we must not pray to any one of 
things produced, not even to the Christ himself but to the alone 
God and Father of all things : to whom also our Saviour himself 
prayed, Orig. apud Hist, of Early Opin. book ii. chap. 4. 
Works, vol. vi. p. 254, 255, 

In thus giving the words at least of Origen, Dr. Priestley is 

330 THS APOSTOLicmr Capp« n. 

certainly correct : for the Greek of that Father nms in mamier 

*Edr ^e dicovbffuy h'l frari eort wpoffevx^^ ftiiwon chitA rwr 
yiyvtfrwy wpotnvKrioy itrrlyf Me avr^ Tf Xpiorff dXXd fiiyf tf 
Oif rtSy SXwy koX Harpl' ^ koI abroQ 6 IWi^p it/uSr irpo0ifV)(««, 
itfC xapcOc^cOa, Kal hiBdfficei i|/iac irfHitrev\€a&ai» Grig, de Orat 
§ 15. Open vol. i. p. 222. Paris. 1733. 

(1.) Any person, who is moderately conyersant with On* 
gen's writings, will inunediately perceive: that Dr. Priestky 
would put a sense upon this detached passage, which is utterly 
inconsistent with various other statements of that Father. 

Whence it will obviously follow : that Ongen, though here 
quoted with verbal accuracy, has, in point of knpcrtf been 
grossly misrepresented by the historian. 

Some few of these statements I shall present to the cantioas 
reader : that so he may be enabled to form his own judgment 
on the matter now before us. 

In the recently considered passage which has been garbled 
by Dr. Priestley, Origen, we have seen, declares : that, while 
we pray to the Father through the Word, we must also auppR' 
cate the Word himself , and offer up our intercessions to Am, and 
give thanks to him, and pray to him. 

AcrjtrSptOa ^e Kal ahrov rov Aoyov, cat eyriv^6fu&a ahrf, au 
thxapiariitrofiev^ Ka\ irpoaEv^ofuSa Bi. Orig. cont. Cels. h'b. V. 
p. 233. 

So likewise, in another passage, Origen declares of himself 
and of the whole coUeittive Church Catholic : fVe wwsksp one 
God^ the Father and the Son, 

"Eya oiy Qeoy, roy Uaripa ical roy Yloy, Otpawtvoper. Grig. 
cont. Cels. lib. viii. p. 386. 

Again, in another passage, Origen similarly declares of him- 
self and of the whole Church : JVe recite hymns^ to the aUm§ 
God who is over all, and to his only-begotten Son Qod the 

"Y/ivouc yap €«c p6yoy Toy ewl irdtn Xiyopty Qeoy KoX roy 
fioyoyevfi avrov Qeoy Aoyoy. Orig. cont. Cels. lib. viiL p. 422. 

flDMB. m.^ or TmiKITAKIANISM. 331 

So i^gnoy BttHidKr pftMife» Origoi tnchn « to jBTc^y ioCA 
to God the Fmiker, ami to the omif-hegotiem Word of God. 

rf ifOMrycyfi nu yp w r o r A cy vxUifc cri^cwc Ao^y Ocov. Orig. 
eont. Cck. lib. viii. p. 895. 

AguD, m another fomo^ calliiig men away firoin the adora- 
tion of die Host of Hearen, he ays, ocntradistmetiTdy to 
them : We will wonktp^ the Fmtktr who U the aoihor ^ all 
ftofpheaee ta /Am, omA tke Word of God who administers thewu 
OM" otrtK eAroitf dXXk row Ilarcpa rUr tr atrroic vpoftfnuir, 
Kok T09 ^uuooFor o^ivr Aayor rov Gcov, TpooKwriioofurm Orig. 
coot. Cda. lib. ▼. p. 239. 

And, yet again, in another pass^^, he exhorts : that prayer 
dkmid be offered to the Word of God who is able to heal at. 

Olr^i' j(rrov cof 6 roiowros f^ioB^ r^ A<^y tov Ocov, 3vra- 
fdr^ ahror kiaa&dai. Orig. cont. Gels. lib. y. p. 238. 

(2.) With Boch pontive declarations before us, to which it 
were an easy task to add many others, we may be quite sure, 
unless Origen be the very pink of self-contradictive inconsist- 
ency: that Dr. Priestley, when, in his own sense of that 
Father's words, he would exhibit him as roundly declaring, 
that We ought not to pray to Christy has grievously, though 
peradventure through sheer ignorance quite unwittingly, nus- 
repreaented his meaning. 

For, if^ in the second cited passage, Origen be thus under- 
stood, we shall make him hopelessly and utterly irreconcileable 
with himself. 

(3.) It will be asked : What, then, could Origen desigpi to 
intimate in the singular passage now under consideration ? 

I reply : that the passage before us, adduced and (so &r 
aa its support is concerned) misrepresented by Dr. Priestley, 
merely sets forth one of those refinements, in which Origen 
so mudi delighted to expatiate. 

As the whole context of the passage shews, he would teadi 
us : that, under two several aspects, prayer is not to be offered 
to Christ* 


Thus, Christ is not to he prayed to, under the aspect of Thai 
which has been boTm^ or under the aspect of The meamate Son's 
human nature. For adoration is due to the Essential Deity 

And thus, again, Christ is not to he pra3red to, under the 
aspect of Our High-Priest or Mediator, For, in thai capacity, 
his ecumenical office is, not to receive our prayers as addressed 
immediately to himself, but to present them interoeasiTely to 
the Father. 

But, though, in the judgment of Origen, Christ ought not to 
be prayed to, under either of these two precise aspects : yet, 
as Origen himself in numerous passages elsewhere instructs us, 
this is no reason, why prayer should not be offered to him, as 
Ood the Son, the eternal Word, inseparably united to the Father 
in the substance of the strictly one Godhead* 

Accordingly, as Dr. Priestley ought to have known and to 
have stated, Origen actually refers to such a distinction in the 
very passage, which was first cited, and which has been so 
daringly garbled by the faithless historian. 

We shall supplicate also the Word himself, and offer up our 
intercessions to him, and give thanks to him, and pray to him : 


^erfffOficda Be Koi avrov rov A6yov, Koi kvrev^Sfuda avrf, Kal 
th^apitrHiffOfiev, cal jrpoffev^oficOa ^c, idv Bvvwfuda Karcucoveiy 
rfjc trepl Tpoffevyfis KvptoXe^ag Kal Kara')(pii<r€tas. 

Here we have the distinction in form, stated, exactly where 
it ought to be stated, regularly and explicitly. 

We must not, says Origen, pray to Christ, as Otir High* 
Priest and our Mediator : nor yet must we pray to him, as 
That which according to his human nature has been produced. 
For, when Christ is thus viewed, we must pray to no other 
than God who is over all : and, if, under either of these two 
aspects, we pray to Christ, we pray to him (what Origen caUs) 
catachrestically or abusively. 

But, to the Word himself, as One God from all eternity with 

NUMB, m.^ or TWSSfTJkMUkXtaU 

For. what Cbnc is fiku 


ike Faiker, h h om 

wc offer k to tlie Fac&er. 
wc pTBj to !■■ (i> Orip 
ivt/A sirici iM om mi f t u f§ m.t§ , 

(4.) Thm, froB two pHoces* die 
and die other woelidlT ■BRepvesented, Dr. Priesfer, 
fimoe of Origcn's repeated dedanukm to tbe contiarjy 
to ha nnwarj reader^ esUHt dbat Fadier, ms^ tatmibf amd 
every aspect, WEnensG the Sxme mdarmtum of Ciruf . 

On the second paaage from Origen's Ti 
the porport of which Dr. Priesdej has compleceij misrepre- 
sented, there is an e»rellmf note hy Mr. Reading, which k 
given in the Paris edition of Origen. See Origen. Oper. toL L 
p. 917* 918. Paris. 17S5. The inquirer may also profitafalj 
consult the remarks in Hnet. Origcnian. lib. iL c 2. quaest. 2. 






Dr. Priestley has attempted to perplex the subject of our 
Lord's divinity by talking of the prodigious change of ideas 
which must have occurred, when the Apostles, ceasing to view 
him as a mere man like themselves, began additionally to esteem 
him the Most High God : and he thinks, that we can find no 
trace of any such change recorded in Holy Scripture. On 
these matters, he is so positive, that he is sure it must be 
acknowledged, even by the Trinitarian himself : that The firti 
ideas, which the Apostles entertained concerning Christy were ; 
that he was a mere man like any other mere man. Hist, of 
Corrupt, part i. introd. Works, vol. v. p. 14, 15. 

I. I know not, that the Trinitarian is any way bound to seek 
an answer to curious questions of this description, merely be- 
cause it has pleased Dr. Priestley to propound them. 

The burden of chronological demonstration rests upon those, 
who reject the doctrines of the Catholic Church ; not upon those, 
who maintain them. 

If the tenet of Christ's godhead be a corruption, and if it were 
unknown to the primitive believers : it is the business of those, 
who advance such a charge, to make it good, by pointing out 


fpecificaUy, the precipe time when^ and the precise person by 
wkonif it was introduced into the Church ; a matter, as we have 
seen, given up by Dr. Priestley himself in utter despair. 

As for those who receive the tenet, it is amply sufficient for 
tkem to have learned : that Thomas, without censure, openly 
addressed his Saviour as his God ; that the protomartyr Ste* 
plien dosed his mortal career, by solemnly invoking him with 
prayer and intercession ; that John explicitly declared him to 
be God ; that Paul, while he pronounced him to be God over 
ailf used language respecting him, which is inapplicable save 
to THE DEITY ; that the primitive believers were familiarly, from 
their ordinary practice, denominated those who invocate the 
name of Christ ; and that the early writers of the Church, who 
most have best understood the real doctrine of the Apos- 
tles, understood all these matters precisely as they are now 
understood by modern Trinitarians. To them it is enough, 
that the doctrine htu been revealed: and, if their opponents 
think otherwise, they call upon them demonstratively to point 
out a period, when the doctrine existed not in the Church ; they 
odl upon them to specify the time when and the person by whom^ 
the doctrine was first introduced into it. 

This, I think, would be quite a sufficient answer to Dr. 
Priestley's curious inquiries: nor is the Catholic boimd to fur- 
nish any other reply* But, though he be not bounds he may of 
kU own good pleasure prosecute the matter further : and, as it 
involves a subject of considerable interest and of some difficulty 
to the Humanitarian, I shall enter into it a little more at large* 

II. If Dr. Priestley means only to say ; that, When the seve- 
ral Apostles first accidentally beheld Christ, or when they were 
first introduced to him as one person is introduced to another ^ 
they supposed him to be a mere man like themselves : his asser« 
tion, no doubt, will be readily admitted even by the most stre- 
nuous Trinitarian. 

But, if he means to say ; that They still continued to hold the 
same cptnton, when they believed and acknowledged him to be the 
pramksed Messiah : we must have something more cogent, than 



the mere assertion of the historian, to induce us to adopt bit 

1. The first disciples of our Lord, prenioui to their receiTing 
any particular instruction firom Attn, must certainly have enter- 
tained that opinion respecting the promised Messiah* whidi 
generally prevailed among their countrymen. 

Hence, when they, subsequently and concretely^ confessed 
Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah : they must forthwith have 
entertained that identical opinion respecting Jesus, whatever the 
opinion itself might be, which they had antecedently and ab» 
stractedly entertained respecting the Messiah. 

2. Thus far, the matter is perfectly dear: and, from this 
point, the sole question is ; what optnum, respecting ike 
Messiahy was entertained by the Jews, at the time of our Lord's 
jirst advent ? 

III. The question before us is settled, in a way more sum- 
mary than satisfactory, by the historian of the Corruptions of 

The Jews, says he, were taught by their prophets to expect a 
Messiah, who was to be descended from the tribe of Judah and 
the family of David ; a person, in whom themselves and all the 
nations of the earth should be blessed : but none of their pro- 
phets gave them an idea of any other than a man like themselves 
in that illustrious character ; and no other did they ever expect, 
or do they expect to this day. Hist, of Corrupt, part i. introd. 
Works, vol. V. p. 14. 

Those, who are conversant with Dr. Priestley's historical 
productions, must be fully aware ; that rashness, rather than 
accuracy, is the grand characteristic of his assertions : and, 
indeed, so generally, from long experience, have I found this 
to be the case, that I may safely say ; whenever some bold and 
extraordinary allegation has tempted me to consult the authority 
upon which it professed to be founded, that I have invariably 
been led to the discovery either of some gross falsification or of 
some complete perversion or of some ignorant misapprehen- 
sion : imomacli that an allegation of this sort, upon the first 

NUlfB. IV.2 ^^ TRmiTARIANISM. 337 

Uiish, nofv always leads me to anticipate, as a thing of course, 
either misconstruction or inaccuracy. 

That The Jews, in the present day, professedly expect only a 
mam m the character of their Messiah : is readily allowed. 

But, that None of the ancient prophets gave them an idea of 
any other than a man like themselves in that illustrious cha- 
raeter, and that No other than a mere man did they bvbb 
expect : can be considered only in the doubtful light of hardy 
asseverations, cheaply thrown out at random, according to his 
wont, by the rapid historian of the Corruptions of Christianity. 

1. With respect to the ancient prophets, it will be sufficient 
to observe; that those, who announce the Messiah, as The 
Wonderful One, as The mighty Gody as The Lord the messenger 
of the covenant whose temple was the temple of Jehovah himself, 
as The Ruler in Israel whose goings forth have been from old 
even from everlasting, as The Sun of righteousness, as Jehovah 
sent by Jehovah, as Jehovah himself whose precursor should be 
the mystical prophet Elijah, as God whose throne should be for 
ever and ever : it will be amply sufficient to observe, that those, 
who employ such language, can scarcely be said to have given 
the Jews an idea of nothing more than a man like themselves in 
that illustrious character. And be it remembered, that these 
several predictions were believed by the Rabbins of old to 
relate to the Messiah : the application of them is not a modem 
figment of Christians. 

2. To make this observation, respecting the ancient prophets, 
will be quite sufficient. Whether Dr. Priestley's other asser- 
tion, that The Jews never expected any save a mere human 
Messiah^ be more accurate, will form a very curious subject of 

In prosecuting such an investigation, I shall not have recourse 
to the well known Work of Dr. Allix ; though, from the very 
language of the Rabbins themselves, that Work clearly enough 
establishes many points in the arcane theology of the Sanhedrim, 
which cannot but displease the School of modern Antitrinita- 
nanism : neither shall I advert to the remarkable system of 

VOL. II. z 


doctrine, propounded and advocated by the Jew Philo, as early 
as the middle of the first century. 

On the contrary, I shall take the simple and unexceptionable 
course of appealing to the documents of the New Testament : 
and, if I should be tempted to call in the evidence of Justin 
and Maimonides by the way of corroboration, still, unless I be 
much mistaken, even those documents alone will be found 
quite sufficient to evince the erroneousness of Dr. Priestley's 
assertion ; that No other^ than a mere human Messiahf did the 
Jews EVER expect. 



When the contemporaries of our Lord were led to speculate 
on the question, Whether he could possibly be the Messiah or 
not, they expressed, we are told, their abstract sentiments 
respecting that mysterious character, in the following very 
remarkable terms. 

Do the rulers know indeed, that this is the very Christ? 
Howbeit, we know this man, whence he is: but, when the Christ 
Cometh, no man knoweih whence he is. John vii. 26, 27. 

I. I am fully aware, that an attempt has been made to ex- 
plain or to nullify this extraordinary passage by the adduction 
of an alleged Jewish tradition : but I have been not a little 
amused by the simple operation of tracing backward the legend 
in question to the authority, upon which it has been made ulti- 
mately to repose. 

The Editor of the Improved Version, with his usual compen- 
dious dogmatism, boldly remarks upon the text : that It ufas 
a tradition of the Jews ; that, "after the Messiah was born^ he 
would be conveyed away and miraculously concealed^ till Elias 


came to reveal and anoint him. For this note, the Editor's 
professed authority is Dr. Whitby. 

On turning to Dr. Whitby's Commentary on the New Testa-^ 
ment, I found not a syllable about any miraculous conceal- 
ment ; the miracle being an improvement, the sole property of 
which is vested in the Editor : but the legend itself I found 
stated, as follows. 

This is doubtless spoken from the vain traditions of their 
Rahbins: who owned, indeed, that their Messiah was to be 
bom at Bethlehem ; but who imagined, that he was presently 
to be conveyed thence and concealed till Elias came to anoint 

For his authorities, Dr. Whitby refers to the Targum on 
Micah and to the statement of Trypho in Justin Martyr. 

1. The words of the Targum, which is the first of Dr. 
Whitby's authorities for the asserted legend, are these. 

Thau, O Messiah, who lyest hid for the sins of the children of 
Zion, to thee shall the kingdom come, Targ. on Micah iv. 8. 

Here the Messiah is doubtless described, as lying bid for 
the sins of Israel : but, whether there is any reference intended 
to the alleged tradition, or whether (what seems much more 
probable) the place means only that the sins of Israel might 
prevent the manifestation of the Messiah at his appointed time 
and thus cause him to lie hid for the sins of the children of 
Zion (a notion, well known to prevail among the Jews), cannot, 
I think, be determined independently of other information. 

2. This information I might well have expected to find in 
Justin, had I not already been tolerably acquainted with the 
writings of that Father. 

Now, from such an acquaintance, I can securely assert : that 
not the smallest trace will the most diligent inquirer be able to 
discover, either of the Editor's recently invented miracle, or of 
Dr. Whitby's conveyance from Bethlehem and subsequent con- 

(1.) Respecting both the one and the other, Trypho, though 
regolarly adduced as an authority, is profoundly silent. 

z 2 


The Jewish disputant merely intimates : that the Messiali, 
afler his birth, would not be conscious that he was the Messiah; 
and that the Messiah himself (and thence of course hb neigh- 
bours) would remain in this state of ignorance as to his true 
character, until Elias should have anointed him, and thus should 
have made him publicly known to alL 

As for any assertion, that even this state of temporary un- 
consciousness of character was the result of the sins of the 
children of Zion ; most assuredly no such assertion is ever 
made by Trypho. I subjoin, however, his own words, that 
every person may be able to judge for himself. 

XpurroQ ^€, ei rat ycyeViyrai Kai tori irov* iyyiaerro^ itrri' koI 
oh^€ ahroQ iroi lavroy cir/^rara* ohSe. txei Zyvafiiv riya^ f^XP*^ 
ay i\dii}y *II\/a£ XP^^ ahroy koX iftayepoy tccuti TOiiitrji. Justin. 
Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 174. 

(2.) According to Trypho's account of the speculation, just as 
Saul lived in his native place until manhood, wholly unconscious 
that in the counsels of God he was destined to the kingdom of 
Israel ; so would the Messiah live quietly in his native place 
until manhood, wholly unconscious that in the counsels of God 
he was destined to the Messiaship : and, just as Saul was un- 
aware of his appointed lot, until anointed and publicly proclaimed 
by Samuel ; so would the Messiah be unaware of his appointed 
lot, until anointed and publicly proclaimed by Elias. 

How, then, could such a supposed circumstance (and this is 
the whole that Trypho tells us) lead the Jews to say : JVhen the 
Christ comethf no man knoweth whence he is? 

The legend merely intimates : that the Messiah would for a 
season live privately among his kinsmen and neighbours, un- 
conscious of his being the predicted Messiah. 

Hence, most assuredly, the persons, who received this legend, 
must also have believed : that, when at length he should be 
anointed to his high office, every one of his pristine kinsmen 
and neighbours would know perfectly well, both nf hence he was^ 
and where he had previously resided. 

Consequently, from tlieir reception of any such legend as that 


ghren by Tr3rpliOy the Jews, our Lord's contemporaries, could 
nerer have been led to say : When the Christ cometh^ no man 
kmmfeth whence he is. 

In other words, the legend, as given by Trypho, accounts 
not, in the smallest degree, for the very peculiar lang^uage, em- 
ployed by the Jews, our Lord's contemporaries. 

3. There is, indeed, a wild figment, given in the Jerusalem 
Berachoih and in the Bereshit Babba, which bears some re- 
semblance to the legend detailed by the Editor and Dr. Whitby : 
but, from the very nature of its chronological construction, it 
cannot serve the purpose of rabbinically illustrating the text 
in St. John's Gospel. 

(I.) According to this figment, Messiah was bom on the day 
when the temple was destroyed by Titus : and afterward, at 
the age of five years, and in the presence of Elias, was suddenly 
rapt away to the great sea. While the prophet was lamenting 
the disappearance of the hope of Israel, the Bath-Kol was 
heard to declare : that, after remaining four hundred years in 
the great sea, and eighty years in the ascent of smoke with the 
sons of Korah, and eighty years in the gates of Rome, he should 
return and rule over every great city even to the time of the 
end. See Raymund. Martin. Pug. Fid. par. ii. c. 7. 

(2.) Such is the figment. But, since it must have been 
fiibricated after the destruction of the temple, it clearly cannot 
be legitimately employed to elucidate a remark of the Jews, 
which was made in the days of our Lord or nearly forty years 
hefiire the destruction of the temple. 

II. Setting then aside the idle legend, which the Editor with 
a gratuitous improvement of his own has borrowed from Whitby, 
and which Whitby purports to have discovered where it cer- 
tainly cannot be found, we may reasonably ask : What could 
the Jews mean, in saying; When the Christ cometh, no man 
knoweth whence he is ? 

I. Had our Lord's contemporaries expected a mere man like 
themselves (which. Dr. Priestley assures us, was the fact), they 
could not but have been aware, that hundreds must have known 


his origin : for how could an individual be born like any other 
man, and live among his kindred in his native place to the age 
of maturity ; while yet all his neighbours should be ignorant, 
both of his parentage, and of his local habitation ? The thing 
is clearly impossible : and, with such views of the Messiah's 
character, the Jews never could have employed such phrase* 

2. What then did they mean by their language, as recorded 
by St. John? 

They indisputably referred, I think, to the familiar declara- 
tion of one of their own ancient prophets. 

Out of thee, Bethlehem, shall he came forth unto me, that is to 
be ruler in Israel : whose goings forth have been of old, from 
everlasting. Micah v. 2, 

To suppose, that our Lord's contemporaries expected a mere 
human Messiah or (in the language of Dr. Priestley) a man like 
themselves, is irreconcileable with the testimony of the sacred 




But it may be said, that the language of the Jews, though 
sufficient to prove their belief in the mysteriousness or the pre- 
existence of the Messiah, is insufficient to prove their belief in 
his divinity. 

Be it so : yet, even in that case, enough will have been ad- 
duced to shew the total inaccuracy of Dr. Priestley's assertion ; 
that The Jews never expected any other Messiah than a mere 
man like themselves. But the remarkable passage, which I have 
last considered, is not the only one, from which the sentiments 
of the ancient Jews may be collected. 


I. When Pilate openly exculpated our Lord from all crimi- 
nality, the whole assembled multitude of the Jews gave him the 
fbUowing answer. 

We have a law : and, by our law, he ought to die ; because he 
made himself the Son of God, John xix. 7. 

Such, be it observed, was the general language of the people 
at large : and, with it, the particular language and action of the 
high-priest perfectly corresponded. 

The high-driest answered and said unto him : I adjure thee 
by the living God, that thou tell us, wliether thou be the Christ 
the Son of God, Jesus saiih unto him : Thou hast said. Never' 
theless, I say unto you : Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man, 
sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of 
heaven. Then the high-priest rent his clothes, saying : He hath 
spoken blasphemy : what further need have we of witnesses ? 
Behold now, ye have heard his blasphemy, What think ye? 
They answered and said: He is guilty of death. Matt. xxvi. 

1. From these passages, it is demonstrably evident : that, In 
the judgment both of the high-priest and of the Sanhedrim and 
of the whole Jewish nation at the time when our Lord appeared 
upon earth, a claim of the Messiahship, by one who was counted 
a mere man like themselves, constituted a species of blasphemy, 
for which the Law of Moses had appointed the penalty of death. 

(1.) Now, in the whole Law of Moses, there is no statute, 
which, in so many words, pronounces A claim of the Mesiah- 
ship to be blasphemy, and which thence makes it a capital 

Yet we may be sure, that persons, so well versed in their own 
Law as all the Jews were from the high-priest down to the 
peasant, would never have unanimously appealed to a provision 
of that Law, if no such provision had been in existence. 

What, then, could have been the particular statute, to which 
they all, with one voice, so confidently appealed ? 

Doubtless, they alluded to that enactment, by which it was 
provided : that, If any prophet or dreamer of dreams should en- 


tice them to the worship of false gods, he should surely hefnU 
to death by the punishment of stoning, Deut. xiii. 1 — 11. 
Compare John viii. 5G — 59. x. SO — 39. xix. 7. Matt. xxvi. 
63—66. Mark xiv. 60—64. Luke xxii. 66—71. 

(2.) To seek any other statute save this, under which our 
Lord could he adjudged to death as a blasphemer, will be a 
fruitless labour : and the mode, in which they must prescrip- 
tively have construed this statute for the purpose of bringing 
him within its provisions, affords a clear and distinct indication 
of the sentiments which they entertained respecting the pro- 
mised Messiah. 

Jesus they considered as a person, who claimed to be a pro- 
phet, though they themselves disallowed his claim. In his pro- 
phetic character, he declared himself to be the Messiah and 
the Son of God. But, in the theology of the ancient Jews, 
Messiah or the Son of God was that Jehovah, the Messenger 
of Jehovah, whom they well knew their Fathers to have wor- 
shipped, and whom they revered as possessing undoubted di- 
vinity. Jesus, therefore, in their apprehension, by declaring 
himself to be the Messiah, declared himself to be God. His 
declarcUian, however, they rejected : and himself they deemed 
an impostor. Hence, as he arrogated proper divinity by the 
very act of claiming to be the Messiah, they pronounced him 
to be a blasphemer, who, by enticing them to the worship of 
himself, led them after a false ood from the one Jehovali. 
This construction of his conduct brought him within the sta- 
tute : and, for the blasphemy there described, he was sentenced 
to death. fVe have a law, cried the whole body of the people, 
in strict accordance with the legal opinion of the high-priest 
and the Sanhedrim : We have a law : and, by our law, he ought 
to die ; because he made himself the Son of God. The punish- 
ment, provided for the offence, was stoning : but, bad our Lord 
been stoned, the prophecies would not have been accomplished. 
Hence, by the providence of God, Judea had been reduced to 
a roman province anterior to his death : and the consequence 
was, that, under the roman government, the roman punishment 

NUMB, nr.^ (V TmcnTABlAXBM. Mi 

of crncifizioo 

ft. The judicial OK of 
in Deuteronomjy it lUiigli 
teoedentlj happened to 
pened to his d iarip l r* , 

(1.) On two aevcnl o ccaMons it k recorded, that tbe 
attempted to ^ooe oar Lord: or, in odbcr wonk, en two 
occasknUy it it recorded, that ther jtriMpttd to wAc 
him the pmushment ordained fiir those UaspheBers, who ibooid 
seek to introduce tie worship of jl iklmm, dutt. John 
54—69. X- 22—^9. 

Now, on each occasion, the specific groimd of their 
was the drcumstaooe : that, from his own uncorrected 
goage, they onderstood him, in his claimed capodtj oi the 
Messiah and the Son of God, to arrogate to himself the proper 
character of the Godhead. 

A claim of the dirine Sooship, as they wefl knew, was iden- 
tical with a claim of the Measiahship : and a claim of the 
Messiahship, as they also wdl knew, was eqaiTslent to a claim 
of divinity. 

Hence, when, in answer to their question whether he were 
indeed the Christ, our Lord styled God hi* Father and declared 
that he and his Father were one : the mode, in which the Jews 
understood his language and in which they vindicated tbetr 
attempt to stone him, was 6y thenuehes expressly stated in 
manner following. 

Far a good work, we stone thee not : but for blasphemy ; and 


The blasphemy, for which they stoned himi, is declared to 
be The profane assumption of divinity by a mere human indi^ 
vidual. But our Lord had made no assumption of divinity, 
save by the acknowledgment, that he was the Messiah, the Son 
of God, one with the Father. Therefore, most indisputably, 
so far as I can understand the purport of the allegation made 
by the Jews, they must have pronounced him guilty of making 


himself God, because he claimed to he the Messiah : a cir- 
cumstance, which inevitahly brings out the result, that They 
believed the Messiah to be God* 

This, according to their own statement, was the blasphemy 
which he had spoken : and this same was also the blasphemy, 
alleged against him by the high-priest and the Sanhedrim, and 
reechoed by the whole body of the people. He claimed to be 
Messiah the Son of God : and therefore, in their estimation, 
he was guilty of blasphemy ; because that he, being a sues, 
made himself God, 

. (2.) Exactly the same punishment of stoning was inflicted 
by the Jews, both upon Stephen and upon Paul: upon Stephen, 
mortally ; upon Paul, not mortally. Acts vii. 54 — 60. xiv. 19. 

The reason was : that each alike proclaimed Jesus to be the- 
Messiah, and that Stephen additionally asserted his own per- 
sonal view of him standing on the right hand of God in the 
glory of the Shechinah. 

Now, had the Jews, as Dr. Priestley assures us, believed, 
that The Messiah would be nothing more than a man like them* 
selves ; they might have deemed our Lord and his disciples 
impostors or enthusiasts : but, if they entertained only such 
sentiments of the Messiah, it is difficult to comprehend, both 
why they should have charged the former with the arrogation 
of divinity because he claimed to be the Messiah, and why they 
should so furiously have ])roceeded to inflict the prescribed 
punishment of blasphemers upon persons, who, according to 
Dr. Priestley's hypothesis, had done nothing more than pro- 
claim a particular individual to be the mere man whom the 
Jews expected under that well-known appellation. 

3. It may not be useless here to remark : that there is 
a curious passage in Limborch's Friendly Conference^ which 
strongly illustrates the ancient Jewish construction of the statute 
in Deuteronomy ; though the hebrew speaker, unlike his fore- 
fathers, denies, not merely the godhead of Jesus in the con- 
crete, but the godhead of the Messiah himself in the abstract. 

(1.) Orobio insists: that, if the expected Christ should 


teach the doctrine of his own divinity, he ought to be stoned 
for blasphemy as a false prophet. Such a thing, indeed, he 
deems utterly impossible, fiut still, putting it as an hypothe- 
tical case, he pronounces : that the penalty, annexed to bias* 
phemy^ ought to be the punishment. 

Dato impossibili, quod Messias, quera expectamus, earn 
doctrinam Israelem doceret; jure foret, ut pseudopropheta, 
lapidandus. Limb. Amic. CoUat. cum Jud. p. 111. 

(2.) The statute, alluded to by Orobio, is plainly that in the 
book of Deuteronomy, to which his forefathers similarly al- 
luded, when, speaking of our Lord, they said : We have a 
law : andf by our km, he ought to die ; because he made htm" 
self the Son of God. 

. 4. Antitrinitarians sometimes attempt to nullify the con- 
clusion drawn from the peculiar language of the high-priest and 
the Jews, by saying : that blasphemy is a very indefinite term, 
and that it is used in several difierent senses. 

(K) I readily allow, that the word blasphemy is not always 
employed in the same sense : but, with wliat pertinence such an 
observation is made in the present case, I am unable to discern. 

In the application of the charge of blasphemy against our 
Lord, there is not the slightest degree of indefiniteness. He is 
unanimously pronounced to be a blasphemer, on the specific 
grovnd of his claiming to be Messiah the Son of God: and the 
nature of his blasphemy had already been strictly defined to 
be diis ; that, In claiming to be Messiah the Son of God, he, being 
a man, made himself God, Such was the crime alleged against 
him : and, for this crime, the Law, they assert, has appointed 
the punishment of death. 

Now, by what conceivable process, can a claim of the Mes- 
siahship be construed to be any species of blasphemy, for which 
the Law has appointed the punishment of death : if, in the 
opinion both of the judges and of the whole people, the Mes- 
siah was expected to be nothing more than a mere man Uke 
themselves ? 

(2.) That the imputed blasphemy of our Lord was thought 



to be of the very worst kind, is evident from the action of the 

Would he have rent his clothes with the most vehement ex- 
pression of horror, if he had considered Jesus as claiming to 
be nothing more, than what he and the whole nation deemed a 
mere human prophet : a prophet, indeed, of higher rank than 
Elijah or Isaiah ; but still, in universal hebrew estimation, a 
mere human prophet ? 

On such principles, the circumstance is utterly unnatural 
and overcharged and incredible. But, if we adopt the opinion; 
that, in the person of their Messiah, the Jews expected a per- 
manent manifestation of that exalted Messenger of Jehovah, 
whom they knew to be the acknowledged God of their fathers 
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and whom they knew to have 
been worshipped by their ancestors without any imputation of 
idolatry whenever he appeared upon earth : if we adopt tkit 
opinion, which exactly accords with and explains the recorded 
belief of the whole nation, that, When the Christ should come, 
no man could adequately know whence he was : if, I say, we 
adopt this opinion, all will be perfectly clear and reasonable and 

The ancient Jews expected : that The Messiah would be a 
permanent manifestation of th^ worshipped Angel of Jehovah, 

Hence the blasphemy, of which Jesus was said to have been 
guilty, and for which he was finally put to death, was evidently, 
in their apprehension, a claim of proper and essential divinity. 

For, even according to their own explicit declaration on a 
prior occasion, as he could not claim to be the Messiah, without, 
at the same time, asserting his own godhead : so he could not 
claim to be the Messiah, without, at the same time, being guilty 
of that alleged species of blasphemy which consisted in making 
himself God. 

6. In this view of his pretensions they were doubtless con- 
firmed by the very tenor of his own language, when he was 
solemnly adjured by the high-priest to declare whether he was 
indeed the Messiah. 


Hereafter shall jfe see tie Samtf mam, nttn^ m ^ rigki 
hand qfpomer, amd eomumg ta ihe eUmds efheawem. 

He was adjured to dedve. whether be was die Christ die 
Son of God : and be doc ooIt answered in the alliimjuit e ; bnt 
he also appropriated to himself the d esuipti oo of that 
Being, wh<HD Danid behdd in the Tisioos of die night, 
with the ckMids of hearen, and taking his regal station belbrethe 
Ancient of days. 

The whole amount of his daim was now as dea/as die l^t 
of the firmament. With a sensation of inexpressible horror, 
the high-priest forthwith rent his clothes, and exclaimed Blas^ 
phemy» The cry was canght up by the Sanhedrim, and was 
reechoed by the whole mass of the people, ffe hate a lam : 
and, by oar lam^ he omght to die ; because he wuule lumself the 
Son of God, In thus claiming the Messiahship, he has been 
guilty of blasphemy : because that he^ being a suia, has wuule 
himself God. 

6. Such was clearly the principle, on which our Lord was 
adjudged to be guilty of Uasphemy : and it must be confessed, 
that, had he been a mere man, he would have been guilty ; for, 
on the scheme of modem Antitrinitarianism, I see not the judi- 
cial possibility of his acquittal. 

But no charge of this description could have been rationaUy 
or even plausibly brought against him, unless the ancient Jews 
had held the divinity of their expected Messiah. 

Therefore I see not what conclusion can be legitimately 
drawn from the premises, save that such was actually their 
doctrine at the time when our Lord appeared upon earth. 

7. It will of course be recollected, that, with the abstract 
truth or fidsehood of the doctrine, I have, in the present discus- 
sion, no immediate concern. 

I am now treating, not of the soundness of a doctrine^ but of 
the reality of a fact. 

Dr. Priestley has asserted, that The Jews never expected 
any other than a man like themselves in ihe character of the 


Here we have a simple question of hutorical fact : and this 
question exclusively is now before us. 

II. In my view of this question I am the more confirmed by 
yet an additional circumstance, which is set forth in another 
passage of the New Testament. 

The Jewish contemporaries of our Lord avowedly held : that 
The claim of a proper Sonship to God was equivalent to a direct 
claim of equality with God, 

But they likewise held : that The character of a proper Son- 
ship to God was inherent in the nature of the Messiah. 

Therefore they held : that The Messiah was equal with God, 

And thence, of very necessity, they also held, as they them- 
selves expressly declared : that Any mere man, who claimed the 
Messiahshipf was guilty of blasphemy ; because that he made 
himself God, while yet he was no more than a mere man, 

1. The Jews, we read, sought the more to kill him : because 
he had not only broken the sabbath; but said also, that God was 
his own proper Father (jraripa l^iov), making himself equal with 
God. John v. 18. 

2. Now we all know full well : that to call God our father, 
simply in that general sense wherein the phrase occurs in the 
Lord's prayer and wherein the very Jews themselves were ac- 
customed to use it on their own behalf (John viii. 41.), is by no 
means to make ourselves equal with him . 

But Christ, as he was understood by the Jews (no matter, so 
far as the present argument is concerned, whether they under- 
stood him aright or not), so called God his own proper Father, 
as, in their apprehension, to claim an equality with God. 

Yet I think it evident : that no such idea could ever have 
been excited in their minds by the language of our Lord, unless 
ANTECEDENTLY they had believed in the abstract ; that The 
Messiah, inasmuch as he is the proper Son of God, is, in that 
precise capacity, equal with him. 

But no one can be equal with God the Father, unless also he 
be himself very God. 

Hence, from this yet additional unexceptionable evidence of 


the New Testament, I cannot but deem it clear : that The an> 
eient Jews maintained the divinity of their expected Messiah^ 
identifying him with that apparent Messenger of Jehovah who is 
declared to have been the God of their fathers Abraham and 
Isaac and Jacob, Gen. xlviii. 15, 16. Compare Hos. xii. 
S — 5. Exod. Hi. 2 — 22, Gen. xvi. 7 — 15. Judg. ii. 1 — 5. 
Yi. 11 — 24im xiii. 2 — 23. Isaiah Ixiii. 9. See below, append, ii. 
numb. 10. 



From a perusal of their own Scriptures and from the con- 
comitant instruction of the Levitical Priesthood, the Jewish 
contemporaries of our Lord had, I think, derived those opinions 
respecting the promised Messiah, which may be collected with- 
out much difficulty fVom the history contained in the Gospeb. 

At a subsequent period, hatred of Christianity led to the 
abandonment, or rather (to speak more accurately) the sup- 
pression and concealment, of the ancient doctrine of the Hebrew 
Church. What had formerly been taught unreservedly to all 
the people, was gradually locked up and finally hidden in the 
Cabbala of the Rabbins : and the natural consequence was, 
that, in the course of some generations, it became, to the Laity 
at least, utterly unknown. 

Yet, that the old doctrine was secretly preserved, is, I think, 
indisputable. To say nothing of the writings of Philo, proof 
upon proof, from the very Works of the Rabbins, has been 
accumulated by the industry of Dr. Allix : and, when I con- 
sider the direct concurrent evidence afforded by the Evan- 
gelical History itself, I cannot but build much upon the cita- 
tions produced by that learned author. These citations tell 
their own story : and, if Dr. Allix had done nothing more than 


simply collect and publish them without a single note or oom- 
ment of his own, they alone, unaided and undiscuued and 
unexplained, would have been amply sufficient to corroborate 
and to verify the attestation borne so pointedly by the Gospels. 

I am the more led to attend to them, from the eTideoce 
afforded at a very early period by Justin Martyr, and from a 
remarkable statement or confession made by Maimonides. 

I. Justin's Dialogue with Trjrpho the Jew was carried on in 
the year 136 : and it exhibits, in a curious manner, the state of 
theological opinion, which then prevailed among the members 
of the house of Israel. 

This discussion took place at so early a day, that we may 
reasonably expect to find in it some traces of the system which 
appears with such prominence in the Evangelical History : for, 
though the Jews had been desolated and dispersed by Titus in 
the year 70, and though they were in the midst of their troubles 
from Adrian at the very time when Justin was discoursing with 
Trypho ; yet, even shattered as their polity was, and distracted 
as was their condition, we can scarcely believe, that the doc- 
trine of their fathers, if it were indeed their doctrine, could so 
soon have been entirely lost or abandoned or concealed. 

Under such circumstances, an examination of the Dialogue 
cannot but be both interesting and important. 

1. We may, I think, clearly enough learn two points from 
this venerable monument of Christian antiquity. 

(1.) The first is : that The doctrine of the Messiah* s mere 
humanity was then^ among the more freethinking of the Hebrew 
Laity, beginning to supplant the ancient doctrine of his divinity. 

(2.) The second is : that The old doctrine of the MessiaKs 
divinity, as it prevailed a century earlier in the days of ow 
Lord, was still maintained by the Rabbins and thence apparently 
by the bulk of the people ; that The subsequent system of con- 
cealment and suppression had not then commenced ; and, conse- 
quently, that, The existence of the doctrine among the Rabbins 
was well known, both to intelligent Christians like Justin, and 
likewise to the Jewish Laity themselves. 


2. Respecting the grommdg of the doctrine, Trjpho, ivstio's 
antagonisty aj^ears to have heen somewhat ignorant: and, 
though he materially improves in temper toward die dose of 
the Diak^^; yet, in the oomie of it, he is not a little conceited 
and opinionated. 

(1.) His ignorance is evinced from the wonder whidi he 
expresses at the line of argmnent taken up hy Justin. 

That learned Father, mighty as he diews himself to be in the 
Scriptures, undertakes to prove, even fitxn the writings of the 
Old Testament: that The promised Messiah was thai Messem- 
ger qfJehavahf who yet himself was no other thamJehooah^ who 
conversed wUh the ancient patriarchs^ and who was worshipped 
by the house of Israel under the special aspect of the God of 
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, 

In reply to the reasoning of Justin, Trypho exhibits a sort of 
stupid amasement : declaring, that he had never before heard 
any perscm, either thus examining, or thus inquiring, or thus 

'H/uTc x'poc rag ovrt^ tTUivcifrovc dwoKpitnic ovk itrfur trot* 
poC kfttZii o^tyoQ ovBifTOTt ravra ipevriiyrotf ^ tlffrovvTOCf fj dfo^ 
^eucrvyroCf aKtixSafuy, Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 215. 

This answer of Trypho certainly indicates, either his own 
carelessness, or the discontinuance (for whatever reason) of 
rabbinical instruction. Yet, even under every disadvantage of 
the times, had his information been a little more extensive, he 
might have encountered the same line of argument in the Works 
of one of his own countrymen : for Philo, who flourished about 
a century anterior to him, would have taught him, that Justin 
could neither claim originality nor could be truly charged with 

(2.) The ignorance of Trypho, as might naturally be antici- 
pated, makes him not a little conceited and opinionated. 

As for what you assert, says he ; that this person, being the 
Messiah, preexisted as God before all ages, and that he then 
submitted to be bom a man, and yet that he was not man from 
man in the ordinary course of nature : the whole of such asser^ 

YOL. II. A a 

354 THE AP08TOL1C1TT C^n. II. 

tion strikes me to he^ not only a paradox^ hui even absolute 

To yo^p Xcyeiv (re, irpovnapyeiy Geov oyra wpo al^r^y rovrov 
TOP \piirT6y, cTra koi yervrfifiyai iyOpunror ytvdfuvov inrofuivtu, 
Koi Sti oIk AvOpottroQ l^ dvBputfrov^ ov fi6voy frapAStfyy ioKil f»m 
Avai^ dXkd Kal fiwp^, Justin. Dial, cum Trjrph. Oper. p« 207. 

(3.) After this ebullition of spleen and vanity, Trypho, in his 
next reply, goes on to state : that. In the umvereal opinion of 
ike Jews, tke Messiah would be a man bom ftom men ; and that 
Elias would come to anoint turn to his high office. 

Kal yap trdyrtg ^f^tiCf roy Xpi<rrov dydpwKoy i{ dyOpitimv 
irpo^&NCw/i€v yiyfitntrBcu, ical roy *HXlay 'xpiaai abroy ikJMyrtu 
Dial. Oper. p. 207, 208. 

Now it is a curious circumstance, that, while Trypho petu- 
lantly rejects the very idea, of Jesus being the Messiah, and 
(in that character) of his preexisting as God before all ages : he 
does not venture to say, that his brethren universally denied 
the godhead of that Messiah whom they themselves expected. 

JVe all expect, says he, that tl*e Messiah will be bom a man 
from men. 

But he does not say : We all deny his divinity. 

This last proposition, be it observed, is by no means neces- 
sarily involved in the former proposition. For, as Justin be- 
lieved, that Jesus was God incarnate, barn from the Virgin, and 
therefore (under that aspect) a human being bom from a human 
being : so the belief, stated by Trypho as universal among his 
brethren, that Messiah would be a human being bom from human 
beings, though it might exclude the doctrine of an incarnation 
of the Godhead from a virgin, does not of necessity exclude the 
doctrine of an incarnation of the Godhead in the course of 
natural conception and parturition. 

(4.) Trypho himself, and probably his companions at the 
debate with Justin, had adopted, precisely in the tone and after 
the manner of the modern Antitrinitarian School, the doctrine 
of the Messiah's bare humanity : for he says to his opponent ; 
You are attempting to demonstrate a point incredible and well 


mgk impouAUf thmi Goi mbmUui to ke kmm mmd f# 

"Avunoy yap nu diwwmrop mj^ttmw wfajftm cvij^cipfic 

Dal. Oper. p. 228. 

Boty dHMigh s«ch were die aTowed sendmenCs of the mA' 
viitml: I have dioiiglK it rigfal, ob ac co oDt of what ocean in a 
anbaeqaeiit part of the Dialogue, to point oQt the preceding 
cautioiis peculiarity of his language ; in which he rentnres not 
to asaert, diat the Jews of his time wutertally denied the di- 
Tinitj of the Messiah. 

3. Justiny evidendy hearing in mind what his antagonist had 
said, and prohahly understanding it as a direct aiffirmadon that 
the Jews wucerMiUfi rejected the doctrine of the Messiah's 
dirinity, attacks him, in dne dme, upon this very position. 

JVkemetferf says he, iPS Ckrisi'unu produee to fcmr Rabhms 
ihote ScriptmreSf which tmeqmvocaily exkilnl the Messiah, as 
iiabie to s^ertng, amd yet at being adorable and as being God; 
those ScnptnreSf I mean, which I have already cited to yowr* 
self: they are compelled to acknowledge, that these relate in^ 
deed to the Messiah m the abstract; but they dare to say, that 
this person, lusmely Jesus of Nazareth, is not the Messiah in the 
concrete. Nevertheless, they fairly acknowledge : that the Mes- 
nmk himself will come, and will suffer, and will reign, and will 
be GOD WORTHY OF ALL AiK>RATiov. Now this, suTcly, is, on 
their part, most ridiculous and absurd. 

•Ac ^ ttv \iymfuv avroic ypa^Ci «« Itap^^tty rby X^imoy Koi 
wadriroy Kal wftomcvyrrroy xal Gcov iLXO^eucyvoviny, hQ Kal xpoaF€<r- 
T6pTi(ra vfuy ravraQ etc Xpurrov fiev elpnaOai iiyayKaiofnyot trvy 
rlBtrrai, rwh-oy ^c fiil tJyai roy Xparroy roXftwin Xeyeiy, 'EXeu- 
vnrBai ii, Kal TaOtiv, ical (kLtriXevtrai, i:ai wpofficvyriToy yeyitrBai 
Osoy, ofMoktyYovtrtV o-rtp ytXoioy *:at Avoiyrov. Dial. Oper. p. 229. 

Here we have a direct assertion, openly made by Justin in 
the presence of Trypho and his companions : that The Rabbins, 
Ikmever they might expect the incarnation of their Messiah to 
take place, whether from a virgin or in the ordinary course of 

A a 2 

366 THE AP08T0LICITY [[aPP. II. 

parturition^ acknowledged^ on the authority of their omrn Scrips 
tures, that, although he would be destined to nffermg^ etiU he 
would he ooD himself worthy of all ado&atiok. 

Justin, with much reason, urges the inoonsitleney of the 
Rabhins : because, while, on account of hie nfferiugSf they 
objected to Jesus of Nazareth being received as the Messiah 
and thence as the adorable ood ; they themselves, all the while 
confessed, that their own expected Messiah, though €K>d worthy 
OF ALL ADORATION, would nevertheless be liable to n^fkring. 
But still the assertion, we see, is the broad and naked assertion 
of A FACT : a fact, accordingly, which Trypho was obviously 
reduced either to confess or to deny. 

You yourself says Justin, may allege it to be a pomt incredi' 
ble and well nigh impossible : that God submitted torhe bom and 
to become man. But, though such may be your individual opi' 
nion, it is not the doctrine of your Rabbins. They fairly oc- 
knowledge : that your expected Messiah will come^ tmd will 
suffer, and will reign, and will be god worthy of all adora- 
tion. If he will suffer : he must be man ; for God^ as God, 
cannot suffer. If he be God and yet man also, as your Rabbins 
confess : God must submit to be born and to become man ; the 
very point, which you allege to be incredible and well nigh im- 
possible. In a word, though your Rabbins deny Jesus of Naza- 
reth to be the Messiah : they acknowledge, that the Messiah 
himself will be god to whom all adoration is due from his 

(1.) Such is the fact asserted by Justin. 

In what manner, then, does Trypho deal with this bold alle- 
gation of his antagonist ? 

Docs he promptly ridicule it, to the high enjoyment of his 
hebrew companions, as a matter too absurd for the belief even 
of a Christian ? Does he at once deny it, as a notorious and 
impudent fabrication ? Does he readily retort : that the Rab- 
bins never made, or ever thought of making, such an acknow- 
ledgment ? Docs he deservedly censure Justin for his gross 
controversial dishonesty ? Does he, at the same time, express 


hiB anuuwineiit at the in&tuated hardyhood, which could gra- 
tuitously hasard an assertion, so liahle to easy and immediate 
ooofutation and exposure ? 

(£•) Truly, nothing of the sort. 

To deny it, he ventures not : to confess it, afler his own rash 
and presumptuous language, he is apparently unwilling. Hence, 
however singular it may appear to those who think with Dr. 
Priestley^ he actually passes it over in total silence : and thus 
he tacitly acknowledges its perfect accuracy. 

He oonldy with ease and unconstrained freedom, ridicule the 
idea : that this person, as he contemptuously styles Jesus of 
Nazareth, should he tlie Messiah, and that he should have pre- 
existed as God before all ages. But he does not deny : that, 
in the scripturally formed judgment of the Rabbins, the Mes- 
siah, though a man destined to suffering, would yet be god 


The taciturnity of Trypho is imitated by his hebrew com- 
panions. They all equally heard the assertion of Justin : but, 
to controvert it, not a moutli was opened. With one consent, 
it is suffered to pass unnoticed and uncontradicted. 

(d.) The whole matter is remarkable : but it is no more than 
what we might have expected from a School, which, about 136 
years before, had rightly applied to the Messiah a prophecy, 
wherein the goings forth of that expected ruler in Israel are 
declared to have been of oldf from everlasting. Matt. ii. 1 — 6. 
Micah V. 1,2. 

In fact, this identical prophecy sets forth, in continued series, 
the two precise points, which Justin asserts the Rabbins to 
have deduced from the Hebrew Scriptures. 

The Messiah, they confessed, was destined to suffer : yet, as 
they also confessed, that same Messiah would be god worthy 


Accordingly, Micah foretells: that The judge of Israel should 
be smitten, with a rod, upon the cheek ; and yet that His goings 
forth should be from of old, from everlasting. 

II. As the doctrine of the divinity of the Messiah was be- 


g'mning to be denied by some of the Jewish Laity in the lime of 
Tryphoy tbougb it was stiU (Hmfessed by the Babbiai to he the 
ancient doctrine of their own Scriptures : so, through hatred to 
Christianity, the Rabbins themseWes graduaUy suppressed and 
concealed it, until at length all knowledge of it lirtm kis t save 
among those who were initiated into what they had constituted 
the mysteries of their secret discipline. 

1. This is no mere phantasy of my own: my authority is 
one of the greatest of the rabbinical writers. The syafem of 
concealment, and the very principle upon whkb that syatem 
has been adopted, are most fully and explicitly acknowledged 
by the celebrated Mosea Maimonides. 

All things f says he, which are ipokeu m the nark of the cre^ 
aiion^ are not to be understood according to the letter^ q$ the 
mUgar imagine* For, otherwise, our wise men would mot huoe 
commanded them to he concealed : nor woM they have used so 
much care in hiding them im parables : nor would they have so 
studiously prohibited all discourse concemirig them before the 
unskilful multitude. But, in truth, the literal imterpreiaiione of 
such matters either produce evil thoughts and imaginations and 
opinions concerning the nature of God; or they overturn the 
foundations of the Law, and bring in some heresy. 

Whoever, then, possesses any knowledge in these points, let 
him beware of divulging it : as we have often admonished, m our 
own Commentary on the Mishna. 

Hence also our Rabbins say, in express terms : thai, tuou 


But they have inserted this note trfter those particulurs, which 
are written concerning the works of the sixth day: whence, the 
truth of what we have said is clearly apparent. 

Yet, because lie, who has gained some perfection, is bound alee 
to communicate it to others : therefore it must needs be, that 
those, who have learned any such secrets, whether by their owm 
industry or by the aid of a preceptor, should sometimes dechre 
a few of Uiem, Still, however, this must not be done openly and 



4MmctUft ImU covertly a$ui otUy by sigm and kirUs ; mich at 
May be found scattered and mtMcd with other tkmga in the words 
4^omr more celebrated aiUi more excellent Rabbins. I, there- 
forcp as yon wiU observe^ in these mysteries^ often mention only a 
single word or saying, which may serve as a hinge to the whole 
matter: the rest I leave to those, to whom they ought to be Uftm 

Non omnia flecundam literam intelligeDda et accipienda esse, 
1(086 dicuntnr in <^pere Bereschith sen creationia, aicot vulgua 
iMxninimi ezistiBiaL Nam alias non prseoepisaent sapientes 
Hki occultari ; neque tanta cora in eis abscondendis et parabolia 
involTendia mi fuissent; neque eliam tam studioa^ prohibuia- 
•enty ne de iia senno fieret coram imperita plebe. Sensua enim 
iUomm Itterales vel gignunt {Hravas cogitationes, imaginationei, 
et opimonefl, de natura Dei Optimi Maximi : vel certe fan- 
damenta Legb erertunt, baeresimque aliquam introducunt 

Quicumque Tero aliquam in illis scientiam habet, caTere 
debet ne ilia di?u]get ; aicut saepius monuimua in Commentario 
noBtro in Miachnam. 

Hine claria verbis dicunt quoque Rabbini nostri : a principio 
uaai usaux mc, gloria dokimi est celare vbrbum. 

DiJLerant auiem boc post ea, quae scripta sunt de operibus 
sexti diei : ex quo patet Veritas illius, quod nos diximus. 

Quia vero is, qui perfectionem diquam nactus est, tenetur ct 
obligatnr iUam aliis quoque infundere et communicare : — ideo 
fieri non potest, quin illi, qui aliquid ex secretis istis, sive pro- 
prio Marte et industria, sive ope praeceptoris alicujus, appre- 
henderunt, nonnunquam pauca quaedam dicant. Verum non 
aperti et dar^ hoc faciendum est, sed tect^, et non nisi per 
aigna et indicia, qualia sparsim et aliis rebus permixta, in verbis 
cekbriorum ac praestantiorum Rabbinorum nostrorum, inve- 
niuntur. Ideoque et ego, ut observabis, in istis roysteriis, saepe 
tmiua alicujus verbi vel dicti solum mentionem facio, quod cardo 
quasi est totius rei : caetera vero illis rclinquo, quibus relin* 
quenda sunt. Maimon. Mor. Nevoch. par. ii. c. 29. p. 273, 

360 The apostolicity C^pf* n. 

2. In this very remarkable passage, the whole rabbmical 
system stands confessed and revealed. 

It is allowed to be a system of studied mysterious ooooeal- 
ment: and the hints, which are dropped by this eminently 
learned Jew as to the principle on which it was adopted, are so 
perfectly intelligible, that he who runs may read. 

The true explanation of the plural phraseology, which is 
employed by Moses in the history of the creation, and Jto which 
Maimonides palpably refers, was on no account, it seems, to be 
communicated to the profane vulgar : lest it should introduce 
heretical sentiments concerning the nature of God, and should 
subvert the foundation of the Law. To the privileged Rabbins 
alone such knowledge was to be confined : and, for the purpose 
of throwing dust into the eyes of the uninitiated Laity, some 
other exposition was to be devised, which might preserve them 
in their state of happy and unsuspecting ignorance* 

Accordingly, upon this principle Maimonides him^f acts 
with perfect consistency. 

While he hints at the secret and concealed interpretation 
possessed by none save the rabbinical epopts, he himself kindly 
accommodates the vulgar with the idle unscriptural fancy of the 
house of judgment. Mor. Nevoch. par. ii. c. 6. 

3. The confession of Maimonides perfectly establishes those 
citations from the Rabbins, which have been made with so 
much copiousness by the learned research of Dr. Allix : while 
the undisguised purport of the citations fully explains, if ex- 
planation were necessary, the drif^ of the confession* 

From the confession we learn ; that the Rabbins have long 
had a system of concealed interpretation, which respects the 
mode of God*s existence as set forth in the plural phraseology 
employed by Moses in the history of the creation : from the 
citations we learn the specific drifl and nature of that occult 

Finally, the whole matter is confirmed and demonstrated, by 
the testimony which is borne to the doctrine of the ancient 


Leyilical Charcb, both by the inspired Evangelical History 
which is possessed by the Christian Church, and by the uncon- 
tradicted all^^ation of Justin Martyr. 

III. I cannot refrain from here placing upon record an asser- 
tion of singular intrepidity, which has been made by that zealous 
Antitrinitarian Mr. Haynes, and which has been cited with 
entire approbation by Mr. Lindsey. 

It M very remarktMe^ says he, that^ m all the books of the 
Old and New Testament^ wheresoeoer the sacred writers intro- 
dmce Almighty Qod speaking of himself it is hy the singular 
pronouns i and me. Lindsey's Sequel to Apol. p. 27. 

1. This REMA&KABLB FACT is deficient in nothing, save the 
sin^e article of t7eract/y ; in hardy hood, the assertion is super- 

Did Mr* Haynes and Mr. Lindsey imagine : that their 
readers, being altogether unacquainted with the Bible, were 
prepared to swallow whatever fictions they might be pleased to 

Or is it possible: that they themselves could be wholly igno- 
rant of the existence of texts ; in which God, whose very hebrew 
name is roost commonly written in the plural number and is 
constructed both with plural adjectives and plural participles, 
actually speaks of himself by the plural pronouns us and our ? 

(1.) God said : Let us make man in oua image, after our 
Ukenessm Gen. i. 26. 

(2.) And the Lord God said : Behold, the man is become as 
ONB o/'us. Gen. iii. 22. 

(3.) And the Lord said : — Go to, let us go down and there 
confound their language, that they may not understand one 
another's speech. Gen. xi. 6, 7. 

(4.) / heard the voice of the Lord, saying : Whom shall I 
send, and who will go for us ? Isaiah vi. 8. 

2. As texts of this description have been duly commented 
upon by Justin and others of the early Christian Fathers : so 
they have not been left unnoticed by the Jewish Rabbins Huna 
and Samlai and Moses Haddarschan and Jochanan and others 


of the same School. RaymiM^d. Martin. Pi^. Fid* par. iik Ot 3. 
p, 484 — 490. 

To enter upon them, is not my present business. I merdy 
record : that Mr. Haynes and Mr. Lindsey adduce, aa i|n OTer- 
whelming argument in favour of Antitrinitarianisni, the tset 
R£HARKABLs FACT ; that, /ft ALL the books of the Old amd Nem 
Testament^ wheresoever the sacred writers introduce Ahnighi§ 
God speaking of himself^ it is by the singular prcnaims i 
and ME. 

Such is the fact and such is the argument, by which two 
modern Antitrinitarians establish and defend their system. 




Whatever sentiments, respecting the Messiah, were enter- 
tained by the Jewish nation at large : the same sentiments, we 
may be sure, must have been entertained by our Lord's disci- 
ples in particular. 

Hence, when they acknowledged him to be the Messiah, 
they must have deemed him an incarnate manifestation of that 
Angel of Jehovah, who by their ancestors was adored as Jeho- 
vah himself, and who by Jacob was confessed to be the God of 
his fathers Abraham and Isaac. Gen. xlviii. 15, 16. xxxii. 
24 — 30. Hos. xii. 3 — 5. 

I. That their belief was mingled with much uncertainty and 
hesitation, and that it was from time to time accompanied by 
many painful and anxious mi^ivings, will probably be doubted 
by no person. 

1 . Such a state of mind would only be the natural result of 
tliose additional opinions, which, in common with the great mass 


«r ibeir eotiiiCfymeii» until their mindB were folly enlightened, 
they held respecting the Messiah. 

It was confidently believed and expected : that the promised 
SaTMNir would appear in the dignified character of a mighty 
aadvlelofkHM prince, who would deliver the Jews from the 
hated yoke of the Romans, and who would speedily make them 
the tiiam^iant head of the nations. 

2. Mai^ fiuniliar indications occur throughout the Gospels^ 
that this was the original faith of our Lord's discij^es : and 
every thing, which concerned his actual appearance, served to 
perplex and stagger that faith. 

It was not, I apprehend, that they had any doubt, as to tlie 
essential character of the Messiah m the abstract : but they 
yery often, I believe, doubted in the concrete ; whether Jesus 
of Nazareth were the Messiah. 

On the one hand, his astonishing miracles, and that mild 
though irresistible superiority which as a perfect matter of 
course he evidently assumed, forced them, as it were, to con- 
fess, that he could not but be the Christ the Son of God. 

Yet, on the other hand, his lowly and unambitious appear- 
ance, so totally different from what they had been led to antici- 
pate, often, from time to time, induced them to suspect that 
they were deceived and had been mistaken. 

11. This internal war of opinions will, I think, be evident to 
any person, who reads the Evangeh'cal History with even a 
moderate degree of attention : and it will account lor much of 
that singular variation of conduct, which so remarkably cha« 
racterised the collective body of the disciples. 

1. Nat b a n ael, compelled by an invincible demonstration of 
our Lord's omniscience, confessed him to be the Son of God, 
(Bven the promised Messiah-king of Israel : and, in return, Christ 
strengthened his faith by appropriating to himself the mysterious 
Yision which Jacob beheld in Bethel. John i. 45—51. Gen. 
xzviii. 10 — 19. Hos. xii. S — 5. 

Yet, in no very long time afler this occurrence, many oi the 
disciples, offended at certain doctrines which they heard in- 


culcatedf went back, and walked no more with htm. John 
vi. 66. 

2. On that last occasion, Jesin appealed to the twdve, whe- 
ther they also would go away : and Peter then, in the name of 
his apostolic brethren, professed a firm and assured belief^ that 
he was Christ the Son of the living God. John vi. 67 — 69. 

Yet this very Peter, when commanded to leave the boat and 
to approach his Lord who was walking upon the sur^ce of the 
lake, evinced a remarkable mixture of belief and unbelief. Nor 
was it, until Christ brought him safe into the vessel and stilled 
the tempest by a word, that the hitherto terrified and doubting 
disciples came and worshipped him, saying, what in hebrew 
phraseology was an acknowledgment of his divinity : 0/ a 
truths thou art the Son of God. Matt. xiv. 24— dd. See below, 
append, ii. numb. 10. 

3. The same mingled faith and uncertainty we may behold 
very strongly exemplified in a subsequent part of the sacred 

(1.) VThen Jesus was come into the coasts of Cesar^ Phi- 
lippi, he inquired of his disciples what character he generally 
bore throughout the nation at large. 

The reply was : that some believed him to be John the Bap- 
tist ; some, Elias ; and others, Jeremias or one of the prophets. 

Upon this, he put to them the direct question : But whom say 
ye that I am ? 

Here eleven out of the twelve disciples remained silent: 
while Peter, with a faith surpassing that of his brethren, readily 
answered ; Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, 

This reply procured for him a very remarkable attestation 
from the mouth of Jesus himself. Blessed art thou, Simon 
Bar'Jona : for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee^ 
but my Father which is in heaven. Matt. xvi. IS — 20. 

The attestation before us is the more extraordinary, because 
Peter was by no means the Jirst person who had made this con- 
fession. In truth, it had already been made, both by Nathanael 
individually, and by all the twelve Apostles collectively in the 


ship. Hence we are imperatively led to inqairey what cmr 
Lord can have meant, when he declared : that Peter's confession 
waa revealed to him, not hy fledi and Uood, bat by his Father 
which is in heaven. 

(fL) The ground and purport of our Lord's declaration I take 
to have been this. 

Hitherto, the confession had been made, so finr as respected 
Jesns persanaUy^ with a considerable portion of doabt and 
distrust and hesitation. 

That the Messiah was the Son of the living God, or the 
worshipped Angel of Jehovah, or (as the ancient Paraphrases 
express it) the Word of the Lord ; the disciples, like all the 
rest of their countrymen, were ftilly persuaded : and, in conse* 
quence, whenever they inclined to believe that Jesus was the 
Messiah, they forthwith confessed him to be the Son of the living 
God and the divine King of IsraeL 

But thb belief unfixed and unstable, was perpetually flue* 

They had no assurance, that Jesus weu the Messiah, beyond 
what arose from their own reasoning on his character and his 
miracles. In other words, the specific application of the Mes- 
siahship to the precise individual Jesus of Nazareth was re- 
vealed to them only by flesh and blood : for the sole ground, 
on which they could take up this opinion, was the exercise of 
their own unassisted intellect. 

Hence, as might naturally be expected, they sometimes be- 
lieved, and they sometimes doubted. 

But, at length, it pleased the Father which is in heaven to 
convey into the mind of Peter the full assurance of a divine re- 
velation. Every doubt as to the proper ascription of the Mes- 
siahship being thus removed, the Apostle, not merely in conse- 
quence of his own reasoning upon probabilities, but under the 
immediate influence of a divine revelation, now confidently ex- 
claimed : Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 

The confession of St. Peter, in short, was not a bare confes- 
sion of the Messiah*s divinity tn the abstract: for that doctrine, 


as we have seen, was, in the time of oar Lord, kdd bj the 
whole Jewish nation. Neither was it a simple hesitatiBg de- 
claration, founded on apparently sufficient evidence : that Jetas 
of Nazareth, in the concrete^ was the expected Messiah. But 
it was a heaven-inspired acknowledgment, ft^ee from every 
shadow of doubt and perplexity : that the person, who then stood 
before them under the aspect of a man, was die Messiah, in 
that precise divine character of the Son of the living God, a 
filial emanation from the substance of the paternal fountain of 
Deity, under which he was universally expected. 

III. It is observable : that, so far from correcting the general 
belief in the important article of the Messiah's preexistence 
and divinity according to the specifically applied prophecy of 
Micah (Micah v. 1, 2. Matt. ii. 1 — 6), our Lord, by the praise 
which he bestows both upon the confession of Peter and upon 
the yet earlier parallel confession of Nathanael, clearly and dis- 
tinctly confirms it. 

Nor does he confirm it merely in words : on the contrary, 
by an action^ at once most extraordinary and most significant, 
which followed the confession of Peter at an interval of only 
six days, he establishes, both the general doctrine of the Mes- 
siah's divinity, and the particular ascription of the Messiahship 
to himself. 

In the remarkable event of the Transfiguration, Christ de- 
clared his godhead afler a manner, which no devout and intel- 
ligent Jew could misunderstand. He appeared, radiant in all 
the glory of the Shechinah : as Daniel beheld him, in the visions 
of the night; as Stephen saw him, immediately before his 
martyrdom ; as Paul viewed him, on his journey to Damascus ; 
and as the worshipped Angel of Jehovah was wont, to display 
himself to the patriarchs, or to blaze in the burning bush, or to 
gleam from the cloudy pillar of fire. Moses and Elias were 
his attendants, thus fully confirming his claim of the Messiah- 
ship : and, to strengthen the faith of the witnessing Aposdes 
and to remove the stumbling-block of his approaching cruci- 
fixion which had given such heavy offence to Peter even after 


liis iospiied confetsioii, they 6pake, we are lold, of hin decease 
which he thould accomplish at Jerusalem. The kitent of the 
▼ision oonld not be mistakeD by those, who, as Justin speaks, 
bdieyed, from the ancient prophecies, that the Messiah would be 
€fodw9fthy of ail adoration : and, as the three witnesses were 
charged to communicate it not until afler his death, we may be 
■are; that, when he was risen from the dead, the important 
conmranieation would be no longer, even for a moment, with* 
held* See my Sermon on the Transfiguration. Serm. vol. ii. 
semi. 4. 



I have now given a sufRcient answer to the objection of Dr. 
Priestley : that. In Holy Scripture^ we can find recorded no 
trace of the prodigious change of ideas which must have oc- 
curred, when the Apostles, ceasing to view Christ as a mere 
man like themselves, began additionally to esteem him the Most 
High God. 

1. The truth is : from the time of their acknowledging him 
to be the Messiah, they never, save when their concrete faith 
in his own particular Messiahship failed, viewed him as a mere 
man like themselves. 

!• In their minds, as in the minds of all their countrymen, 
the two ideas, of the Messiah and the worshipped angel of 


SHiLOH and (as Zechariah speaks) jehovah sent by jehovah, 
were inseparable. 

Hence it were most strange, if, in Holy Scripture, we couH 
find recorded a change of sentiment, which in reality never 

2. Man, indeed, true and proper man, the Apostles, no 

368 THE AP08T0LICITY [[aPP. U. 

doubty believed our Lord to be : for, in tbe language of St 
John when opposing the error of the Docetae, they had heard* 
and they had seen with their eyes, and they had looked upon, 
and they had even handled with their hands, the Word of life. 

But then they deemed him no other, than the visible and 
tangible man, with whom Jacob wrestled, whom both he and 
Hosea have declared to be God, and whom (in his capacity of 
the eternal Son of the eternal Father) John himself delennines 
to be God with God in the beginning and from the beginning. 
1 John i. 1 — 3. Gen. xxxii. 24—30. xlviii. 15, 16. Hos. 
xii. 3 — 5. John i. 1 — 3. 

That such, accordingly, was the faith of the primitive Church 
at a time so early that it could not but have been received 
from the Apostles, is most abundantly manifest from the writ« 
ings of Justin : for, as we have seen, between Justin and St 
John, there cannot have been more than a single intervenient 
link of communication. Hence we shall not wonder to have 
found, that Christ's personal converse with the ancient patri- 
archs was even introduced, as an article of faith, into one of the 
primitive ecclesiastical Symbols preserved by Tertullian. Justin. 
Apol. i. Oper. p. 74, 75. Dial. cumTryph. Oper. p. £78 — 281. 
Tertull. de prsescript. adv. haer. Oper. p. 100. 

11. Agreeably to the view of the question which has been 
here taken, we have positive demonstration : that the doctrine 
of our Lord's divinity was known to the Apostles even before 
the descent of the Holy Ghost, whose special office was to teach 
them all things and to bring all things to their remembrance 
whatsoever Christ had said unto them, John xiv. 26. 

This is evident, as I have already elsewhere observed, from 
the recorded fact of Thomas styling him his Lord and his God : 
for the passage, in which that fact is set forth, was understood 
and expounded by the doctors of the primitive Church precisely 
as it is understood and expounded by every modem Catholic. 

Hence, of course, after the descent of the Holy Ghost, the 
doctrine could not but be, a fortiori, perfectly well known and 
firmly established. 


Accordingly, in the narrative of one of the earliest mentioned 
subsequent occurrences, Stephen, in the agonies of martyrdom, 
after beholding Jesus in the divine glory of the Shechinah, 
solemnly invocated him, that he would receive his parting soul 
and that he would forgive his blood-thirsty murderers : and so 
notorious was this primitive rite of invoking Christ as God (to 
adopt the phraseology of the depositions taken before Pliny), 
that the very first name, by which believers seem to have been 
distinguished, was the appellation of Those who call upon the 
name of the Lord Jesus. 

III. In exact agreement with these facts, and in perfect ac- 
cordance with the testimony of those very ancient Fathers 
Justin and Iren^us ; the Apostles, instead of never mentioning 
Christ save as a mere man, the assertion which Dr. Priestley 
has been pleased to make (Hist, of Corrupt. Introduct. Works, 
▼oL V. p. 14.), both style him Gody and appropriate to him the 
very name of Jehovah, and ascribe to him all the attributes of 
the Deity, with so much positiveness and clearness and decision, 
that it requires the most strange and unnatural glosses to evade 
the force of their testimony. 

I know perfectly well the mode, in which Dr. Priestley and 
his associates deal with such texts: but, as the universal exposi- 
tion of them by the primitive Church is still upon record, we 
do not conceive ourselves to act irrationally, in preferring 
evidence to mere dogmatism^ in adopting the ancient rather than 
the modem interpretation. 

At all events. Dr. Priestley can have no right, in a professed 
historical Work, to come forward and to declare, without the 
slightest qualification : that the Apostles of Christ never spoke 
of him save as a mere man like themselves. He must have known^ 
and he ought to have specif ed, that, although such might be 
his own arbitrary view of the apostolic language, no one, either 
in ancient or in modern times, agreed with him, save only the 
members of that small party in which he ministered. 




HBB. i. 1, £• 

It has been urged by Dr. Priestley, and other wrkers of the 
same School : that the doctrine of the primitive Church, relative 
to the frequent personal appearances of Christ to the ancient 
patriarchs under the character of Jehovah the Angel or Mes- 
senger of Jehovah, as distinctly set forth by Justin and Irendus 
and Clement and TertuUian and others of the early Antenicene 
Fathers, is irreconcileable with the exordium of the Epistle to 
the Hebrews* 

God, rvhOf at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in 
time past tmto thefatfiers by the prophets, hath, in these last 
days, spoken unto us by his Son. Heb. i. 1, 2. 

From this passage, it is argued in manner following. 

The personal appearance of Christ in the last days is here 
placed contradistinctively to The personal appearance of the 
])rophets informer days. 

But, if Christ had himself personally appeared in former 
days : the studied antithesis of the Apostle would plainly be 
altogether unfounded. 

Therefore, consistently with the language of the Apostle, 
there could not have been any personal appearance of Christ in 
former days. 

Whence it will follow : that Justin, and the other ancient 
Fathers who agree with him, cannot have propounded the true 
doctrine of the primitive Church ; but must have given us 
nothing better, than their own unchastised imaginings. 


The present objectioD, which was urged by the earlier Soci- 
nians long before the time of Dr. Priestley, is somewhat plausi* 
ble : but it will not bear the test of a close examination. 

I. Its conclusiony that The doctrine in question cannot have 
been the doctrine of the prinutive Churchy however it might have 
been started by certain speculaUve individuals, is contradicted 
by the direct evidence of a fact. 

I might fairly argue : that, in the very nature of things, 
Justin could not have advanced tlie doctrine in a public 
Apolf^ and under a plural phraseology, which is actually the 
case ; had he not been well aware, that he was speaking the 
sentiments of the entire Church on behalf of which he stepped 
forth as its accredited defender. 

Bttty in the present matter, I require not the argument from 
inference. The doctrine is avowedly and openly propoundedy 
as sok artide of fiiith, in an ancient Symbol preserved by Ter- 

Id Verbum Filius ejus appellatum : ejus in nomine Dei varid 
visum patriarchis. Reg. Fid. vetust. apud Tertull. de prsescript. 
adv. hflsr. § 4. Oper. p. 100. 

Now it is clear : that a doctrine, rejected by the early Catholic 
Church, could not possibly have appeared, as an article offakth, 
in a public Symbol or Creed or Confession put forth authorita- 
tively by that identical Church. 

.Therefore the occurrence of the doctrine in the Symbol 
proves, that the early Catholic Church taught and maintained it. 

II. But it will be said : that, whether the early Catholic 
Church did or did not, teach and maintain it ; still, if it con- 
tradicts the decision of an Apostle, we cannot receive it as a 
genuine dogma of Christianity. 

1. Should this unhappily prove to be the case, we must 
then, I fear, abandon a very excellent canon laid down by Dr. 
Priestley himself. 

For the canon asserts the moral impossibility of error, re- 
specting the true nature of Christ, on the part of that early 



oonunuitity^ which received its doctrines immediately firom the 
hands of the Apostles. 

Whereas the result shews: that, in despite of the canon, 
that early community had adopted, even as an artide of frith, 
a very considerable error combated by St. Paul in the Exordimn 
of his Epistle to the Hebrews. Priestley's Reply to Animad. 
In trod, sect iv. Works, vol. xviii. p. 23. 

2. But, in truth, we need be under no apprehension for the 
credit of the canon, which is certainly one of the very best pro- 
ductions of Dr. Priestley. The objection, at present before us, 
has been framed upon a complete misconception of the nature 
and purport of St. Paul's antithesis. 

(1.) That antithesis does not respect The personal appear^- 
ance of Christy as opposed to The personal appearance of the 
prophets. But it respects The immediate mimstraiion of Christ 
in his character of the personal introducer of the New Covenant, 
as opposed to The immediate ministration of Moses and other 
prophets in their character of the personal teachers of the Old 

(2.) Here lies the real intended contradistinction between 
Christ and the prophets. 

The original Patriarchial Dispensation was, personally^ com- 
municated by Adam to his children. What may be called the 
second or intermediate Patriarchal Dispensation was, similarly, 
communicated by the personal intervention of Abraham. And 
the Levitical Dispensation was, in like manner, communicated 
to the Israelites by the personal intervention of Moses. 

In all these instances, with the subordinate instances of 
Enoch and Noah and Elijah and other similar declarers of 
the divine behests, God spake in time past unto the fathers by 
the prophets. 

But far more highly privileged was the Christian Dis- 

There, in these last days, God hath spoken unto us by his onm 
Son, Unlike all the former Dispensations, this crowning Dis-< 


pemation was commimicated to us by the direct personal inter- 
▼ention of the divine Word himself: for the Word was made 
Jkek^ and dwelt anumg us (and we beheld his glory ^ the glory 
as i^ the only^begotten of the Father) fuU of grace and truth* 

(3.) Thus, when the apostolic antithesis comes to be rightly 
▼iewed and accurately stated, the socinian objection plainly 
loses all its force. 

St. Paul speaks, not of Christ's mere temporary personal ap^ 
pearances, but of Christ's personal and immediate ministration 
MB the prophet of a new and better Dispensation. 

S. I may add: that, if the objection had possessed any force, 
it would not only have annihilated Dr. Priestley's very useful 
canon ; but, what b. still worse, it would have made St. Paul 
contradict himself. 

It is certainly a remarkable circumstance : that the doctrine 
<^ Christ's frequent appearance to the patriarchs should have 
been made even an article of faith in a Symbol, which, from the 
circumstance of its having been preserved by Tertullian, must 
have chronologically approximated very closely to the apostolic 
times. But the framers of that primitive S3rmbol had not only 
the advantage of knowing, with moral assurance, the doctrine 
of Christ's immediate disciples: they had likewise good written 
or scriptural authority for their insertion of such an article. 

(1.) St. Paul, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, had 
taught them : that The Israelites in the wilderness tempted 
Christ and were destroyed of serpents, 1 Corinth, x. 9. 

Now the person, whom the Israelites tempted on that occa- 
sion, was, as we are assured both by Moses and by David, 
Jehovah himself, the God of the whole earth. Numb. xxi. 4 — 7. 
Psalm cvi. 14. 

But the Jehovah, who conducted the Israelites through the 
wilderness, and who was tempted of them when they were 
destroyed by serpents, was undoubtedly that Jehovah, who 
always described himself as the peculiar family God of Abraham 
and Isaac and Jacob. 

The Jehovah, however, who thus described himself, appeared 


to Moses in the bush. And the Jehovah, who sppened to 
Moses in the bosh, is declared to be the Angd or Messenger of 
Jehovah : that is to say, he is declared to be, as Zediariah 
speaks, Jehovah sent by Jehovah. Zechar. ii. 6— 11. 

Now this Angel or Messenger of Jehovah, himself also Je- 
hovah the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, is declared 
to be likewise the Being, who repeatedly appeared to the pstri- 
arcbs, and who also repeatedly appeared daring the earlier 
times of the Levitical Polity ; invariaUy receiving divine adora- 
tion from those persons to whom he dUd appear, and invariably 
considered by them as a manifestation of the Deity. 

But St. Paul, by asserting that The Israelites tempted Christ 
til the wildemesSf virtually asserts also: that Christ is the 
Angel of Jehovah and (as such) the God of Abraham and Isaac 
and Jacob* 

Therefore, finally, he teaches the doctrine, which, id the 
primitive Church nearest to the times of the Apostles, was 
received as an article of faith : that The Son or the Word of 
Ood variously appeared to the patriarchs. 

Such, then, is the doctrine of St. Paul. But, if we interpret 
the Exordium of the Epistle to the Hebrews according to the 
tenor of the socinian objection, we shall clearly make St. Paul 
contradict in one place what he asserts in another. Therefore, 
we have yet an additional reason for maintaining, that any inter- 
pretation of this nature is untenable. Accordingly, as I have 
shewn above, the true interpretation of the passage is liable to 
no such objection. 

(2.) That Christ is the real ancient reading of the text in the 
first Epistle to the Corinthians, appears, not only from Hilary the 
deacon and Chrysostom and Ecumenius and Theophylact and 
Primasius, but likewise from the preeminent authority of the 
much more ancient Ireneus : for this venerable Father, who 
was born in the year 97 anterior to the death of St. John, and 
who conversed with that Apostle through the single intervening 
link of Polycarp, cites the passage precisely as it stands in our 
common Bibles. 


Nee tentemus Ckristmn^ quemadmodam quidam eonim ten- 
taverunty et a serpentibus perierunt. Iren. adv. haer. lib. iv. 
e. 45. §4. p. 281. 

In strict accordance with such a citatioiiy Irendus asserts the 
precise doctrine, which, in framing the ancient Symbol pre- 
urved by Tertidlian, the eariy Church, if I mistake not, 
founded upon this identical text in the first Epistle to the 

Qui igitur a prophetis adontbatur Deus vivus, hie est vivorura 
Dens et Verbum ejus : qui et locutus est Moysi, qui et Saddu- 
eaeos redarguit, qui et resurrectionem et Dominum ostendit.-— 
Ipse igitur Christus cum Patre vivorum est Deus, qui et locutus 
est Moysi, qui et patribus manifestatus est. Iren. adv. hser. 
lib.iv. c. 11. p. 239. 

Et itenun, in eversione Sodomitarum, Scriptura ait : Et plmi 
2}€mmus mper Sodomam et Gomorrkam ignetn et sulphur a 
Domino de coelo. Filium enim hie significat, qui et Abrahse 
conloquntus sit, et a Patre accepisse potestatem ad judicandum 
Sodomitas propter iniquitatem eorum. Iren. adv. haer. lib. iii. 
c 6. p. 175. 

Inseminatus est ubique in Scripturis ejus Filius Dei, aliquando 
quidem cum Abraham loquens, aliquando cum eodem come« 
sums, aliquando autem Sodomitis inducens judicium: et rursus, 
com videtur et in viam dirigit Jacob, et de rubo loquitur cum 
Moyse. Et non est numerum dicere, in quibus a Moyse osten- 
ditur Filius Dei. Iren. adv. her. lib. iv. c 2d. p. 248. 

III. Before this subject be dismissed, I may be allowed to 
notice the very extraordinary interpretation of certain parallel 
texts in the book of Exodus, which has been given by Justin 

That early Father, like his contemporary Iren^us, strenuously 
maintains the doctrine propounded in the ancient Symbol ; that 
The Fiiial Word of God variously appeared to the patriarchs : 
and this divine Word he contends to have been that God of 
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, who, under the appellation of 


the Angel of Jehotah^ conducted the Israelites through the wil- 

1. Such being the principle of his debate with Trypho» be is 
led in the course of it to adduce the sum of the following well- 
known passages in the book of Exodus. 

(1.) Behold^ I send an angel before thee, to keep tkee m the 
way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared* 

Beware of him, and obey his voice: provoke him not; for he 
will not pardon your transgressions : for my name is tn Ami. 

But, if thou shall indeed obey his voice and do all that I 
speak : then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an ad* 
versary unto thine adversaries. For mine angel shall go before 
thee ; and bring thee in unto the Amorites and the Hittites and 
the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebu" 
sites : and I will cut them off. Exod. xxiii. 20 — 2d« 

(2.) And the Lord said unto Moses : — Therefore now go, lead 
the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee : be^ 
hold, mine angel shall go before thee. Exod. xxxii. S3, 84. 

(3.) And the Lord said unto Moses : Depart and go up 
hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the 
land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham and 
to Isaac and to Jacob, saying ; Unto thy seed will I give it. 

And I will send an angel before thee : and I will drive out 
the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Ilittite and the Perizzite 
and the Hivite and the Jebusite : unto a land flowing with milk 
and honey : for I will not go up in the midst of thee. Exod. 
xxxiii. 1 — 3. 

Z. Of these several passages conjoined Justin has given us 
the following interpretation. 

(1.) The Lord, who promises to send his angel or messenger 
before his people Israel, he understands, consistently with his 
universal plan of exposition, to be Jehovah the Filial Word of 
God : who, of old, spake to Moses from the burning bush ; 
and who, in the fulness of time, took our nature upon him from 
the womb of the Virgin. 


(2.) HaTing thiu interpreted the character of the Lord who 
sends his messenger hefore the people into the hind of Canaan, 
he next proceeds to ascertain that of the promised messenger 
himself. « 

Now this he does from the description of the peculiar office 
ass^ned to him. 

The messenger was to go before the people, and to bring 
diem in unto the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites 
and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 

But this was the precise office discharged by Joshua. 

Therefore, he contends, Joshua was clearly the angel or mes« 
senger, whom Jehovah the Filial Word of God promised to 
send before the people. 

(3.) Jehovah the Filial Word, however, declares : that His 
cwn name is in this his messenger* 

But the name, borne by Jehovah the Filial Word, when in* 
camate from the Virgin Mary, was Jesus. 

Therefore, since his own name is in his messenger, by the 
same name of Jesus must that messenger be also distinguished. 

Accordingly, in matter of fact, by that identical name the 
great and victorious captain of Israel was distinguished : for, as 
we aU know, the word Jesus is only the Greek mode of writing 
the Hebrew word Joshua. Justin. Dial, cum Try ph. Oper. 
p. 2S4. 

3. It is no part of my business either to confirm or to con- 
trovert this primitive interpretation. I am concerned only with 
its result : and that result is not a little important, whether the 
interpretation itself be tenable or untenable. 

(1.) Dr. Priestley and others, as we have seen, please them- 
selves, and endeavour to satisfy their party, with alleging : that 
The earlier Fathers, though they first broke in upon the ori- 
ginal simplicity of the Gospel, never allowed proper divinity 
to the Son ; but that Their system of doctrine was not unlike 
that scheme, which, at a subsequent period, was denominated 

(2.) Yet what is the inevitable result of this present inter- 


pretatkniy as proposed, about thirty yean after the death of St. 
John, by Justin Martyr ? 

The person, who promises to send his messenger before his 
people Israel, is, in the cited book of Exodus, declared to be 
Jehovah himself. 

But Justin asserts : that the unspecified name appertaining 
to JdioTah, which Jehovah himself here alludes to as about 
to be in his appointed messenger, is no other than the oame 

Therefore Justin, so far from denying proper divinity to our 
LOTd, unequivocally pronounces : that he is nothing less than 
Jehovah, the Grod of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, 

Such, indisputably, must be the res%dt from the interpreta- 
tion, whatever becomes of the interpretation itself: for that 
interpretation, be it in the abstract tenable or untenable, never 
could have been advanced by an individual, who, in his doc- 
trinal system, allowed not to the Son any true or proper 





As the Catholic helieves Christ to he very God incarnate : so 
he believes, that God the Son became incarnate for the purpose 
of making satisfaction to the absolute justice of God the Father, 
without which satisfaction the sinful race of fallen man could 
not be saved consistently with the nature of that unbending 
attribute ; and he further believes, that the mode, in which this 
satis£u;tion was made, was by the piacular sacrifice or the ex- 
piatory sdf-devotement of Christ his Saviour. 

I. The doctrine of Satisfaction may sometimes have been 
not quite accurately expressed by those, who have occasionaUy 
bandied it. 

Thus, fcnr instance, by some writers, the death of Christ has 
been described as the cause, which renders the Almighty Fa- 
ther DISPOSED to forgive our sins. 

Now this statement, I apprehend, is not perfectly correct. 

God so loved the worlds said our Lord himself, that he gave 
his only-begotten Son: in order thaty whosoever believeth in 
Aim, should not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii. IG. 

Here, and in many other passages, the first impelling 


CAUSE, by which the Father is disposed to forgive our sins, is 
his own merciful love. 

To assert, therefore, that The death of Christ was the causi 
ivAicA rendered the Father disposed or inclined to /orgweneu, 
whereas pbsviouslt he was not so disposed or ikcliked, is, I 
conceive, not scripturally accurate. 

IL But, though by some good men the doctrine may not 
always have been expressed with perfect correctness ; whence 
occasion has mischievously been taken to say, that t^ exJdiits 
God the Father under the unlovely aspect of antecedent imph" 
cability : still Catholics are fully agreed, as to the main position 
which it sets forth ; and I may perhaps venture to assert, that, 
as the following is the most general view of the subject, so 
likewise it is deemed the most sound and exact. 

1. The perfect inherent love and mercy of God were the first 
impelling cause, which disposed him, to forgive the faUen race 
of man, to reconcile them to himself here, and finally to admit 
them to glory hereafter. 

But, though inherent love and mercy were the first impelling 
cause ; yet God is a God of perfect justice, as well as a God 
of perfect mercy and love : and, however his love and mercy 
might be displayed in the unconditional pardon of a sinner ; 
his justice would cease to be perfect, if the sinner were par- 
doned without full satisfaction being made for his offence. 

Now such satisfaction the sinner himself cannot make : for 
mere repentance, though doubtless required by God at his hands, 
cannot in perfect justice exempt him from merited punishment. 
A murderer may profess to be, and really may be, very sorry for 
his offence : but his punishment cannot on that account be re- 
mitted without manifest injustice ; he must still pay the penalty 
of the broken law. Hence, analogically, however the mercy of 
God may dispose him to pardon, he would cease to be a God 
of perfect justice, if he pardoned without adequate satisfaction. 

What, then, was to be done ? 

According to the mode in which the Catholic understands 
Scripture, such was the infinite impelling love of the Father, 


that he gave his only-begotten Son, the Son himself fully con- 
senting and freely undertaking the task, to stand in the place 
of sinners : so that, by undergoing the punishment due to them, 
he might make complete satis&ction to the Father, and thus 
render it possible (as St. Paul speaks) for God at once to be 
just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Rom. 
lu. 26. 

This is held by the Catholic Church to be that grand christian 
paradox, in which perfect mercy and perfect justice unite to 
pardon and to save the guilty. 

Ify without satisfaction to his violated Law, God simply for- 
gave sinners, he might be merciful, but he could not be per- 
fectly just : for the idea of simply pardoning a criminal and 
the idea of perfect justice are clearly incompatible. 

But God's mercy provided a satisfaction to his justice: 
through the vicarious death of the incarnate Son for the sins of 
all mankind, the two otherwise jarring attributes were fully re- 
conciled : and a way of pardon and acceptance was freely 
opened to every one, who was willing to avail himself of the 
propounded terms. 

t. The Father^ says Justin Martyr or whoever was the very 
ancient apostolic writer of the Epistle to Diognetus, knew all 
things by himself; though, economically , in conjunction with his 

Down to the terrmnation of the former time, he suffered us, as 
we ourselves desired, to be hurried away by disorderly impulses f 
and to be governed by our own pleasures and desires. Not, in- 
deed, that he was pleased with our sins ; but that he endured 
them: not that he was consentient during the season of iniquity ; 
but that he was forming a purpose of justice : for he formed it, 
in order that, during that time being from our own actions con- 
victed of unworthiness of life, we might now through the good- 
ness of God fitly obtain it ; and, having so far as concerned 
ourselves fully displayed the impossibility of our entering into 
the kingdom of God, we might now through the power of God 
be rendered able so to enter. 


fVheUf therefore^ ike measure oftmr wmghieaiumess wttsfitiiy 
aecomplithed; mtd when ii had been made camjdetefy memifeii, 
that punishment and death might haoe been expected as the ft 
wages of sin : then came the time, in which God had predeter* 
waned to display his own goodness and parser; that, through hit 
exceeding great Icoe to fwm, he did not hate us, mar reject us^ 


nor remember our evil deeds ; but that (as he himself declsared) 
he long bore with us^ and took upon hkn the burden of our sins. 

His own Son he gasfe a ransom for us: the kolyfor tke wi- 
holy, the good for the bad^ the just for theunfustf the incom^' 
hie for the com^tibUf the immortal for the mortal. For ndiat 
else could cover our sins, except his righteousness ? In whom 
was it possible that such lawless and impious beings as ourselves 
could be justified, except in the Son of God alone ? 

O sweet interchange I O contrivance past all investigatian ! 
O unexpected benefits ! That the wickedness of many should he 
hidden m one righteous person, and that the righteousness ef one 
should justify many who were wicked. 

Having, therefore, informer time demonstrated the trnpossi" 
bility of our nature obtaining life; and having now set forth a 
Saviour, able to save those who in themselves were incapable of 
salvation : from both these circumstances, he lias wished us to 
rely upon his goodness, and to deem him our nourisher, our 
father, our teacher, our counsellor, our physician, our intellect, 
our light, our honour, our glory, our strength, our life, Epist. 
ad Diog. in Oper. Justin, p. 3S6, 

IIL Now the whole of this grand scheme of mercy, which 
the Catholic esteems the very essence of the Gospel, the Anti- 
trinitarian in our modern days rejects as an unscriptural cot' 

If, then, it he rejected, upon what specific ground is sinful 
man to hope for pardon and acceptance ? 

Clearly, he is thrown altogether, upon his own merits or de- 
merits) upon his own resources or deficiencies. 

That all men are sinners, will scarcely, I presume, he denied 
even by a modern Antitrinitarian. The amount of their sin- 


KUMB. V1.3 iW TmnDT 

falneM lie 
not yentme to 

IV. LntI 

sysloB0 01 tw 
ment of • wiiia. 
Ins fiieiidB ikt wtwj wewt 
Somefem 9ftho§t, mho 
principles of UmUniamswt, njs Dr. Carpcnfer, IdErsr : ikM 
the jmdgmemi, h^ wkkk tie rrndkim ^ emtk u deeded, imkes 
plmee, far emek, mi deaik ; ami thmi there wiii be m gemermi 

Same fern hdtete: ihat^ ^^ihamgk there wHl he a general 
jtidgmeni^ fet the decitiams of the great day wiU met he comimeted 

hy our Savioar as a personal jndge. 

Many heUeee : thai the indwidaai, mmed i atdy after death, 
enters inio a state 4^ happiness or misery; and yet thai there 
fsiU be a general resmrrectkm of the dead. 

Bui the greaUst proportion, I imagine, among Umtanans^ 
regard the interval between death and the resurreetwrn as m 
period of wseonsdonsneu (in which, to the indioidmU, the m- 
Manis of those great eoenU must be in mmrdiaie smecessim) : 
andbelietc; thai, in the sirieUst sense, we shaU aU stand before 

the judgment'seai of Christ, 

Yet, in the midst of these diversities of opinion, all receive, 
what is surely the grand essential p<mt : that the future life 
will be a state of righteous retribution, and thai aU shall be 
judged according to their works. 

Here the influence of Unitarianism shines forth resplendently. 
^Nothing, which can be derived from Unitarianism, interferes 
with the solemn, authoritative, decisive, declarations of the Gos^ 


pel : Whatwever a num sowetkt that shall he aUo reap ; and 
Every man shall bear his onm burden. 

Yet blessed be God^ that, with the gift of eternal life thnmgk 
Christ Jesus, is not connected the disclosure of eternal, trreme^' 
able, unmingled, anguish to an incomparably large proportion of 
the human race !^*The Gospel does indeed persuade men by the 
terrors of the Lord: and it displays to us those terrors tn terms 
too clear to allow the guilty sinner, either to hope thai im shall 
go unpunished, or to doubt the trtUh that indignation and wrath 
will be on the workers of iniquity. Its declarations, respecting 
their future sufferings, are awful and alarming : but, of the 
duration of these, it speaks in language too indefnite to require 
us to believe a doctrine, at which the best feelings of the kuman 
heart revolt. 

In rejecting this opinion, Unitarians are universiMy agreed : 
and the connection is close and (I think) indissoluble, between 
the fundamental doctrines of Unitarianism, and those views of 
the divine character and dispensations which forbid us to make 
his glory depend on something different from and even opposed 
to his justice and goodness, 

I should be disposed to go further, and say : that those views 

of the divine character, to which I refer, inevitably lead to the 

belief; that there will be a time when all the rational creatures 

of God will have been purified from every pollution and made 

fit for lioliness and consequently for happiness. 

But there are among us able and pious scripturalists, who are 
induced, by what they consider the plain declarations of the 
Gospel, to believe : that the sufferings of the wicked, according 
to their works, will be ended by their destruction. 

Most of us, however, believe : that a period will come to each 
individual, when punishment shall have done its work, and when 
the awful sufferings, with which the Gospel threatens tlie impeni^ 
tent and disobedient, will have humbled the stubborn, purified 
the polluted, and eradicated malignity, impiety, hypocrisy, and 
every evil cUsposition, Examin. of Abp. Magee*s Charges, 
p. 37—43. 


If I can collect any thing like a tangible and consistent creed 
from the confessed diversity of opinions which prevail among 
Antitrinitarians ; for, by the vague and undistinguishing name 
of Unitarians^ a name equally the property of every denomi- 
nation of Christians, Dr. Carpenter means, I presume, to point 
out religionists of that description : I must specify that creed 
in some such terms as the following. 

Either immediately after death, or immediately after the gene-* 
ral doom, goad men will enter into happiness and bad men wiU 
enter into penal misery. But the punishment of the wicked will 
not he eternal : on the contrary, it will be exactly proportioned 
to their several demerits. When they shall have remained in tot' 
ment sufficiently long to make satisfaction for their sins and to 
purge away their pollutions, they will then either be admitted 
into bliss or wUl have an end put to their sufferings by annihi' 

V. In making this brief statement, I have not been designedly 
guilty of misrepresentation: should I have erred unintentionally, 
the ample quotation from Dr. Carpenter's exposition of the 
matter will doubtless correct my mistake. Trusting, however, 
that my statement contains no error at least of moment, I shall 
proceed to inquire : how far the antitrinitarian theory, either 
secures the perfect justice of God, or agrees with the plain lan- 
guage of Scripture. 

1. The leading idea, which pervades the whole system, is : 
that Satisfaction to the divine justice is made by the exactly pro^ 
portioned future penal sufferings of every sinning individual. 
He, who has sinned less, is punished less : he, who has sinned 
more, is punished more. He, who is less guilty, makes his 
escape sooner from the place of purifying torment : he, who is 
more guilty, remains in it during a longer period. 

Such, so far as I can understand the system, is its leading 
and palmary idea : such, at least professedly, is the principle, 
upon which it claims to repose. But, when it is actually brought 
into play, this idea and this principle are very widely departed 
from. For we are then taught : that, immediately after either 

VOL. II. c * 


death or judgment (no matter wkkh^ ao &t as the difficulty or 
mconsistenqr is concerned), each individual enters into a state 
either of happiness or of misery. 

Now we may well ask : how can this be, if the present sys- 
tem of apportioning an exact remuneration of punishment be 

That ALL have sinned more or less, will scarcely be denied : 
unless indeed the Antitrinitarian be prepared either to contro- 
vert or to disfranchise the declaration of St. Paul ; that all 
have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Rom. iii. 23, 
But, if ALL ha^e sinned : then all, unless the very principie of 
the present system be abandoned, must make satisfaction to 
the precision of divine justice by undergoing their respectively 
merited share of punishment hereafter. 

Hence it is clear, according to the Antitrinitarian scheme : 
that, immediately afler either death or judgment, all, whether 
comparatively good or positively bad, must enter into a state of 
penal misery. Some may sufiGer more, and some may sufier 
less ; some may remain in torment a longer time, and some 
may be subjected to it for a shorter time : but still, on the 
avowed principle of the present system, inasmuch as all have 
sinned, all must enter during an appointed season into the 
common prison-house of retributive punishment. From this 
fate none can be exempt, save those who have never sinned. 
But ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God^ There- 
fore ALL must hereafter be subjected to exactly apportioned 
penal misery* 

This, so far as I can understand the grounds of just rea- 
soning, is the legitimate and necessary conclusion from the 
premises laid down by the Antitrinitarian. Yet, according to 
this self-same theological speculadst, there are individuals, who 
enter into happiness imme^ulxely after either death or judg- 
ment, and who thence totally escape even the smallest measure 
oi penal retribution. 

In what manner, then, does he introduce acknowledged sinners, 
though of course not sinners of the deepest die, into a state of 

KUBIB. VI.;] O^ tRI^ltARIAKlSM. 887 

happineiid wttlxmt undergoing akt pninithment for their con* 
fessed iib^rratiobs ; and yet preaerre uninjured the perfect justice 
of God? 

(1.) Possibly he may say: that, although no persons ait 
ahsohitely het fMti sin, yet there is A wide difference between 
the bitbttnaUy good and the habitually bad, not only in their 
general conduct, but likewise in the important article of i^ 

I readily allow, that there are gtiidatwM in evil : but I see 
not, how such a circumstance can soWe the dtfAculty. The 
ohly syllogism, which can be framed upon the admitted faety ie 
the following. 

All sin more or less. But there is a wide diflfbtence be» 
tween the habitually good and the habitually bad. THsaBf o%A 
the habitually good, who are only small sinners, will be mib- 
jected to no punishment ; while the habitually bad, who ^tfe 
great siAners though still with a considerable mutual diversity, 
will be subjected to punishments exactly apportioned to their 
Several demerits. 

This strikes me a^ i^ Somewhat lafme affd illegitimate oon«- 
chisioil : nor will the calling ih of repentance much mend the 

A mere expression of sorrow can neither undo a sin, nor make 
ahy legal siitiisfaction for it. We, no doubt, ofVen pardon anofTelloe 
6n such gprounds : but this is no decisive evidence, that Ood either 
i^ill, or consistently with his attributes can, act in any such 
manner. The reason is obvious. We are not perfectly just t 
therefore, without departing from our character, we can depart 
fVom perfect jnstice. But God is perfectly just: therefore Ood 
cannot depart from perfect justice, without at the same time 
departing from his own distinctive character. Now, if God 
simply pardons an oflence without exacting any punishment, on 
Ae mere ground that the offender is sorrjr for whw he haie 
done, he most assuredly departs from his own distinctive cha- 
racter of perfect justice. The departure, possibly, may not be 
very ^Hdc ; because (to speak after the manner of men) the sin 

388 THE AP08T0LICITY [[aPP. II. 

may be small, and the repentance may be sincere : but still let 
there be any, even the Uastp departure ; and justice ceases to 
be perfect Hence, on the Antitrinitarian scheme, we are 
brought to the appalling alternative : either that God is not 
perfectly just ; or that all men^for that all have sitmedf must^ 
qfter deaths enter^ during a certain accurately adjusted seasom, 
into a state of penal misery, 

(2.) In reply, it will probably be argued : that, although a 
perfectly just God cannot pardon sin without adequate satis- 
fiictign, yet the punishment of the offender is not the only con- 
ceivable satisfaction. Repentance^ it is true, is not admitted in 
a human court of judicature to be any legal satisfaction for an 
ofience : but it is easy to believe, that the case may be very 
different in the court of a heavenly judge. There, a sincere re- 
pentance may be received as a full satisfaction : and thus, with- 
out any impeachment of the divine attribute of perfect jostioe, 
an absolute pardon may be freely granted to a sincerely penitent 

With respect to this solution of the difficulty, it may, I 
think, be well doubted ; whether, in the very nature of things, 
mere sorrow for an ofience can ever be deemed an adequate 
legal satisfaction for the offence itself: because such an opinion 
strikes at the very root of justice. If a single ofience may be 
justly pardoned on the score of mere repentance : then thoU' 
sands and myriads of successive ofiences may, on the same 
principle, be justly pardoned on the same score ; for at what 
precise point shall the line be drawn, which shuts out repent- 
ance as no longer available? But, if repentance thus operating 
be always deemed an adequate legal satisfaction : it is abun- 
dantly plain, that the very end of justice must be completely 
defeated, and that a most immoral invitation must be actually 
held out for the diligent multiplication of ofience. Hence 1 
cannot but doubt : whether, in the very nature of things, mure 
sorrow for an evil deed can ever be admitted as an adeqwHe 
legal satisfaction for the evil deed itself. 

Granting, hoyeyer, the abstract possibility of such satia&c- 


tion, we shall stiU find that no ordinary difficulties attend upon 
the principle while in supposed operation. 

The theory is : that Repentance is an adequate legal satU^ 
faction for an offence; so that^ without any impeachment of the 
iUvtne attribute of perfect justice, the penitent offender majf he 
freely pardoned. 

Such is the theory : but the question is, how this theory is to 
be reduced to actual practice ? 

A man, who has committed a small offence, while his general 
life has been virtuous ; and a man, who has repeatedly coro- 
liiitted a multiplicity of great offences, so that the tenor of his 
life has been eminently vicious ; are each, we will say, truly 
sorry for what they have respectively done: the generally 
virtuous man having repented, afler the commission of his 
small ofience ; and the generally vicious man having regularly 
repented, after the commission of every one of his great 

According to the present theory, what sentence must be 
severally awarded to these two culprits ? Must both be freely 
pardoned, on the score that their repentance has made an 
adequate satisfaction for the offences of which they have 
each been guilty 7 Or must both be punished, in exact propor- 
tion to the offences severally committed 7 Or must the generally 
virtuous man be freely pardoned ; while the generally vicious 
man, though a hearty penitent, is relentlessly condemned ? 

If the ^rst decision be adopted : then it is clear, that the 
worst of men need be under no apprehension as to future 
punishment ; for, provided only they go on alternately sinning 
and repenting, they will ultimately, unless they have the ill 
luck to be cut off by sudden or accidental death before they 
have had time to settle their moral account of debtor and cre- 
ditor, fere no worse than the most eminently pious and devout. 

If the second decision be adopted : then the present theory is 
virtually relinquished as untenable ; and it is confessed, that 
ALL men, notwithstanding their repentance, must hereafler be 


ptmisbed more or kts, ui exMCt oorreiqpc»|diiig proporUon, fi>r 
the sins whieh they have eommitted. 

If the third decision be ^c^ted i then it is ackooivledfed, 
that repentance avj^ils in iom^ eases, but that in (4her cases it 
is wholly unavailing ; that is to say* it is acknowledged, that fat 
$ome offences repentance is capable of making l^gal satisActiofii 
but that for 0thef offences i( is wholly incapable. 

Each decision, so far as I can judge, is attended with difiScul* 
tiee not very ea^y to be surmounted : and the last of them, 
though when super^oially viewed the most plausible, js in truth 
the least easy to arrange in any manner whiph may be deemed 
at all satisfiictory. For, if ^ofne ofl[bnoes may be so pardoned 
lipon repentance, that the offender shall escape wholly without 
punishment ; and if other offences cannot be pardoned upon 
repentance, but the offender mu^t nevertheless give fhll satis* 
faction to justice by suffering adequate punishment ; where, as 
to the number and magnitude of the offences, shaU the Une be 
drawn ; at what precise point shall repentance become inefi&ctual 
|o ward off punishment ; and, if at any point it become inef* - 
fectual, why was it effectual at the immediately preceding point, 
when between the two points the difference is so slight as to be 
scarcely perceptible? 

It will of course be understood, that in each case I speak of 
sincere repentance: for insincere repentance is, in truth, no 
repentance. Under every aspect, therefore, the theory, tliat A 
sincere repentance for an offence may be admitted as a% adequate 
satisfaction to the perfect justice of God for the offence itself is, 
I think, encumbered by far too many difficulties and contra^ 
dictions and incongruities to be rationally tenable by any serious 
and accurate inquirer. 

Again, then, on the antitrinitarian scheme, we are brought to 
the alternative, of eitlier giving up the perfect justice of God» 
or of believing that all men after death enter for an exactly op* 
portioned season into a state of retributive penal misery. 

(3.) It will perhaps be said : that, in despite pf abstract 


xeaaoniDg od the dhrins attributes, the pardon of sin is, in mat« 
ier of fact, repeatedly promised to sincere repentance ; God 
hinadf best knowing what is an adequate satisfiiction to bis 
own justice. 

Aasuredl J die pardon of sin is so promised : but what then ? 
Are we to pick and cull from Scripture such texts as may seem 
to suit our purpose, while we omit those which impede it ? If 
ikus'we act, we may apparently demonstrate many matters to^ be 
the truth, which yet are quite irreconcileable with the general 
tenor of God's word. Repentance is necessary, indeed, to 
pardon ; so diat, without it, there can be no remission of sin : 
bat we have yet to learn where it is said, that repentance alone 

I find no such doctrine under the Law, 

On behalf of those very persons, to whom pardon was pro- 
mised on their repentance, the high-priest, even to say nothing 
of individual expiatory sacrifice, entered alone into the most 
holy place, once every year, not without blood, which Jie offered 
for himself and for the errors of the people. Heb. ix. 7. 

I find no such doctrine under ancient Patriarchism, 

The friends of Job, we may be sure, when reprehended by 
the Lord himself, were heartily sorry for their past conduct. 
But this was not sufficient. Take unto you now seven bullocks 
and seven rams, said Jehovah to the offenders, and go to my 
servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a bumt-offering ; and my 
servant Job shall pray for you, for him will I accept : lest I 
deal with you after your folly. Job xlii. 8. 

I find no such doctrine under the Gospel. 

Joy shall be in heaven, said our Lord, over one sinner that re* 
penteth : and, when his Apostles went out, they preached that 
men should repent, Luke xv. 7, Mark vi. \2. But was re- 
pentance ALONE sufficient ? The tenor of Christ's preaching 
was : Repent ye, and believe the Gospel. Mark i. 15. Belief 
in the Gospel was to be added to repentance, in order that re- 
pentance might be effectual : and, as to the mode in which the 
Grospel operates, St. Paul expressly compares its grand provi- 

892 THE APOSTOLiaTT [[aPP. H. 

sion for the pardon of sin to the typicakproTisrioo for the same 
purpose which was made under the Law. Ckriit bemg eame^ 
an high-priest of good things to come^ by a greater and more 
perfect tabernacle^ not made with hands^ that is to toy, not ef 
this building ; neither by the blood of goats and of cahes^ bmi by 
his own blood; he entered in once into the holy place f kammg 
obtained eternal redemption for us, Heh. ix. 11, 12. 

Now, if repentance alone were sufficient to make I<^al sa- 
tisfaction and to procure pardon, what need was .there, that the 
Levitical High-Priest should yearly offer hlood for himself and 
for tlie errors of the people : what need was there, that the 
friends of Job should offer up sacrifice : what need was there^ 
that Christ should on our behalf enter once into heaven by his 
own blood ? 

The question, at the present moment, is not : What mighi be 
the precise import of sanguinary sacrifice. But the question is : 
Whether repentance alone be sufficient^ in the entire scriplwral 
representation of the matter, to make legal satisfaction for sin. 

Truly the whole Bible, under all the three Dispensations, is 
against the notion : that The pardon of sin is promised to re* 
pentance exclusively. 

Thus are we once more conducted to the alternative, forced 
upon us by the antitrinitarian scheme : either God is not per* 
fectlyjust; or all men, after death, must for a season enter 
into a state of retributive penal misery, 

2. But we have yet to inquire, how far the system of the 
Antitrinitarian School will agree with the plain testimonies of 

(I.) At the very commencement of such an inquiry, it is im- 
possible not to observe : that the whole Bible contains not so 
much as a single syllable, relative to the imaginary purification 
of sin-polluted souls by the fire of retributive punishment. 

Most of us believe, says Dr. Carpenter : that a period will 
come to each individual, when punishment shall have done its 
work; and when the awful sufferings, with which the Gospel 
threatens the impenitent and disobedient, will have humbled the 


$hMomf PUBXFiBD THE VOLLUTED, and eradkaUd malignUyp 
imipteiy^ hifpacruy^ and every evil diiposUian, 

Sadly according to Dr. Carpenter^ is the general belief of 
modem Aniiirinitarians* But upon what part of the entire 
Bible, whether Hebrew or Greek, is this general belief founded t 
Inrtead of future punishment in hell having a purifying efiect : 
from Scrtpiure^ if we be content to take Scripture for our guide 
instead of our own vain imaginings, we are led to conclude, 
Aal it will have a directly opposite tendency. From Scripture 
we are led to conclude : that, so far from purifying , it will 
inflame and irritate and harden the miserable sufferers. 

He that it unjust^ let him be unjust still : and he that isJUthy^ 
let Mm bejllthy still : and he thai is righteous, let him be right* 
ecus still : and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And^ 
behold^ I come quickly : and my reward is with me, to give unto 
every man according as his work shall be* I am Alpha and 
Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed 
are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right 
to ike tree of life, and may enter m through the gates into the 
city. For withoui are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, 
and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh 
a lye. Rev. xxii. 11 — 15. 

It is difficult to say, what such passages as this can mean, if 
they do not intimate the unalterable moral condition, both of 
the good and of the bad alike, in the future world. Of any 
PURIFICATION OF THE POLLUTED by the toHucnts of hell not a 
hint is given m Scripture : whatever is there said on the sub- 
ject tends to establish a directly opposite opinion. In a word, 
the general belief of the A niitrinitarian School, according to Dr. 
Carpenter, is: that hell will purify the polluted. By 
what single text in the whole Bible do they vindicate their 

(2.) If, then, purification be not the result of future punish- 
ment ; the prolonged separation of the wicked from God must, 
even in the way of cause and effect, be the inevitable conse- 

394 THE APOSTOLicmr [[afp. u. 

This sepanrion is not more a pumshmmU (ihe only light, in 
wbich Antitrinitarians, with the superadded idea of piri^fecip 
(tow, seem to consider it), than an act of fatal »eee$dty. The 
wicked, by their very character, are unfitted fiar the praseact 
of a pure and holy God. Their impenitent unhcdiiiesa fint 
separates them from him : their continued unholiness prokm^ 
the separation* If they never cease to he unholy, the separa^ 
tion must needs be eternal : for the same cause, which origin- 
nally produced the separation, still continues to operate. But^ 
unless some process of purification takes place in bell, it iM 
quite clear, that they can never cease to be unholy. The whole 
question, therefore, obviously turns upon thU alleged procees of 
puri/cation : and, consequently, we are again brought to demand 
from the Antitrinitarian his scriptural proof; that any auch 
process is carried on, through the medium of future punish* 
ment in hell. Truly the whole process is nothing more, than 
the play of his own unchastened imagination. In the Bible, 
from which alone we can know any thing certain respecting the 
dread realities of a future world, we have not the slightest hint 
of the purifying quality of hell. On the contrary, as the moral 
condition of its wretched inmates is pronounced to be unchanged 
able : so, with strict consistency, the separation of the unholy 
from God is declared to be everlasting. 

If we may believe Dr. Carpenter indeed, the language of 
Scripture is too indefinite to require the admission of a tenet, 
at which the best feelings of the human heart revolt* 

Nothing is more easy, than this very cheap display of senti* 
ment. In the awful idea of an eternity of punishment^ the 
Catholic delights no more than the Antitrinitarian: but the 
veriest babe in reasoning must surely see, that the whole matter 
is a question of pure evidence. To talk of the best feelings of 
the human hearty where a question of naked scriptural evidence 
is concerned, is, in point of argument, the mere babbling of 
childishness. If we receive the Bible as the word of God, we 
must believe, not according to our feelings, but according to ite 
decisions. The question is simply and exclusively : JVhat ie 



nveoM io u$ m Seriptmre ? We neither do, nor can, know 
9ny thing heyood wh«i ii teaches us. 

Pr. Carpenter tpeaka of the mdejinitenest of Scnpture : but 
wbefv does it enis t ? 

So tua$f€elmg is coneemed, I may regret, as much as he 
mpgbl do, that I ean discover no such indefiniteness : hvLifnU 
mg has very little to do with evidence. Not an argument, from 
the laqguage of Scripture, oan -be brought to prove the mm- 
eiermitif pf/uimre fnmUhmentf which does not equally prove the 
fUMi-cl^nijfjf qf/uittre happiness. If we quibble about th^ 
menoing of the Gr^k word, which St. Matthew employs to 
convey the s^nse of our Lord's declaration : we must, by every 
rule of jpst composition, extend the quibble through the whole 

The^ ^hall go away into bverlastino punishment : but the 
righteous, into everlasting life. Matt. xxv. 46. 

The self-same Greek word is employed, in each manifestly 
correfpooding clause of the sentence, to describe, the diiration 
of life on the one hand, and' the duration of purushment on the 
ptheir hand* If the punishment be not eternal ; then neither is 
the life eternal : if the life be everlasting ; then likewise is the 
puniskment everlasting. The same word cannot be used in two 
entirely different senses, as it occurs in two avowedly anti* 
tbetical clauses pf a single sentence. 

But, that the word here means everlastings and consequently 
tba^ the punishment is everlasting, appears, not only from the 
allowed circ^urostance that the life is everlasting, but also from 
our Lord's own perfectly unambiguous declaration. He else- 
where, speaking on the iSLvne subject, declares ; that the fire of 
hell shall never be quenched: and he describes it as a place, 
where the worm of t^he wicked dieth not, and where their fire is 
NOT quenched. Mark ix. ^^—^S. Whether this fire be literal or 
figurative, is nothing to the purpose : be it what it may, we are 
assured* in words as little indefinite as can well be conceived, 
that it is ETERNAL. If hell were a place of temporary purifica- 
tipn, the double object of which was to satisfy God's justice ai^d 


to fit the souls in torment for the pure joys of heaven : the 
worm of the damned would die, and their fire fvomid be qaendied. 
Our Lord, however, assures us : that their worm dieth not, and 
that their fire is not quenched. Hence, by the pursuit of any 
intelligible line of argument, it is difficult to conceive, what con- 
clusion can legitimately follow firom such premises, save an 
eternity of punishment. 

I repeat it, that, in this idea, the Catholic delighis no more 
than the Antitrinitarian. From the manner, in which Dr. Car- 
penter complacently speaks of the best feelings of the hmnum 
heartf an incautious reader might imagine, that such annaUe 
feelings were the exclusive property of die latter. But this is 
a mistake. The Catholic does not believe the doctrine, because 
it affords a horrid gratification to his perverted feelings : he 
believes it, because the belief is forced upon his conviction by 
irresistible evidence. 

(3.) And now, in a ten-fold more appalling form, the question 
recurs : how the Antitrinitarian, on his principles, consistently 
with the justice of God, can provide an escape, even for the 
very best of men, from that punishment which Scripture declares 
to be eternal. 

If God be perfectly just, the best man, inasmuch as all have 
sinned, mustf agreeably to the tremendous scheme of modem 
Antitrinitarianism, be consigned to future punishment. But 
Christ assures us : that the future punishment of hell, the only 
future punishment set forth in Scripture, is EVERLAsnifo. 
Therefore the Antitrinitarian, who rejects the doctrine of Satis^ 
faction made for guilty sinners by the incarnate fVord, must 
either deny the perfect justice of God, or must consign the 
whole human race to eternal punishment. 

(4.) But, in truth, the entire system is radically at variance 
with Holy Scripture. 

On the one hand, nothing is more clear ; than that the anti- 
trinitarian theory of a future state makes the whole of man's 
salvation to depend, either upon his own righteous works, or 
upon his own expiatory sufferings in a fancied purifying hell : 


and, on the other hand, nothing is more evident ; than that 
Scripture makes the whole of man's salvation, so far as right 
and claim and merit are concerned, to depend upon the exclu- 
sive meritoriousness of Christ embraced by an act of lively and 
operative fiuth. 

Respecting this point, die writings of St. Paul are eminently 
distinct and precise. The whole argument of the Epistle to 
the Romans, not to mention various parts of the other Epistles, 
goes to prove : that all, both Jews and Gentiles, have sinned 
and are unable to make satisfaction for their offences. Whence 
the Apostle, most logically and most legitimately, contends : 
that, if saved, they must be saved by faith in Christ, and not by 
their own works or deservings. This at once leads him to that 
great paradox, which is the sole foundation of our hope, whe- 
ther we be Jews or whether we be Gentiles. 

All have sinnedy and come short of the glory of God; being 
juitified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in 
Christ Jesus : whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation 
through faith in his bloody to declare his righteousness for the 
remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 
to declare, at this time, his righteousness: that he might bejust^ 
and the jusHJier of him which believeth in Jesus. Rom. iii. 
2S— 26. 

Such is the doctrine of Scripture : but the Antitrinitarian, 
while he efiectually destroys the perfect justice of God, con- 
tradicts St. Paul by making every man his own justifier, partly 
through the meritoriousness of his good works, and partly 
through his expiatory sufferings in a temporary purgatory. 

Nor is this the whole measure of the Antitrinitarian's utter 
scriptural inaccuracy. 

In the inspired word of God, the alone sanctifier and purifier 
of sinful man, who, by first regenerating and by afterward suc- 
cessively renovating his corrupt nature, gradually fits and pre- 
pares him for the society of the Lord in heaven, is the quicken- 
ing and life-giving Spirit of grace and holiness. Respecting 
any other mode of making us intrinsically meet for the inherit- 

898 THE AMStOtlClTT (^APIP. II. 

iii66 of tlie saints in light, the Bible is pr6feuiidly silelit. Its 
unvaried language » i that We ate justified sdlefy hy tkt 8<m: 
that We are sanctified solely by the Spirit* 

But, if, without a shadow of scriptural evidence, or rather to 
speak more accurately, in direct opposition to all scripConl 
evidence, we may believe the bulk of the modem Antitrinitarian 
School, as its dogmata are evolved by Dr. Carpenter: heU, 
concerning the nature of which the entire Christian World has 
so grievously erred durii^ the long space of eighteen centuries, 
is, in the appointment of God's providence, the grand final 
instrument of a sinner's purification and sancdfication. If all 
meanS) both celestial and terrestrial, unhappily prove iiiefifeo^ 
trve : a niercifiil and beneficent bell still remains, where, under 
the special tutels^ of the devil and his angels, and in the midst 
of bitter hatred and perpetual blasphemy, the most hardened 
and the most reprobate offenders cannot fail to be ultimately 
made the holy and approved servants of the Almighty. We 
are inevitably led to the beliefs says Dr. Carpenter : that then 
ftill be a timet when all the rational creatures bf Ood mU haet 
been 'purified from every pollution, and made fit for holiness and 
consequently for happiness. 

Beautiful is the vision of universal restitution : but, unless it 
be verified by something more potent than Dr. Carpenter's 
abstract views of the divine character, it can be ranked only 
among those lovely though treacherous dreams, which inces- 
santly issue from the ivory gate of the great latin mythologist. 



With the doctrine of a full satisfaction made to God's perfect 
justice by the voluntary death of Christ, the Antitrinitarian 


coBflisteotly rejects alio the belief that Our Lord Imm an expkt^ 
iorff or piacular iaerijtce. 

It U well known to all persons who are convertant with tko 
wriUngs of the Orientals^ says Dr. Priestley: that they are in 
getural people of much more lively imaginatione than we in 
Europe; that their style^ in speaking or writings is more fgn^ 
rative than ours ; and that similes and allegories are much more 
common with them than with us. — > 

Expressions like these must infallibly mislead persons^ who da 
not brmg to the reading of the Scriptures a portion of common 
senses sufficient to enable them to distinguish the true and proper 
meaning through this close covering of figure : for, at the same 
time that the metaphor is exceedingly strongs the turn of the sen* 
tenee g}tes no intimation of it. The Evangelists^ St, Paul, and 
aU the other Apostles^ write in the same manner. In short, this 
^old metaphorical style^ calculated to strike and surprize, was 
always qffected in the East : and there it imposes upon nobody^ 
When such is the taste and manner of writing used by the sacred 
writers, can it be wondered at, that they use figures when they 
speak of the death, of their Lord and Master ? — 

Accordingly, we find : that their imaginations were propor" 
tionably struck with it ; and that they not only describe the 
manner, the causes, and the operation^ of itf in plain language ; 
but likewise have recourse to a' variety of comparisons and strong 
metaphors, such as were naturally prompted by their own strong 
feeUngSf and were calculated to impress the minds of those to 
whom they addressed themselves in a sititable manner* 

The most remarkable of these figurative representations of 
THB DEATH OF CHRIST, whtch occur in the New Testament, is 
that, in which he is compared to a sacrifice. Indeed, the figure 
is just and beautiful. In every sacrifice, the victim is supposed 
to dkefor the gcod and benefit of the persons on whose account it 
is offered. So Christ, dying in the cause of virtue and to pro^ 
cure the greatest possible benefit to the human race, is said to 
have given his life a sacrifice for us. Moreover, as the proper 
object of the death of Christ was to open a certain prospect of a 


400 THE APosTOLicmr Capp- n. 

future lifeand thereby operaie tu a powerf^ moiwe torepenUmce 
by which means sinneri reinstate themselves m thefawmur of God: 
hie death is more especially compared to thai species of jacrt^, 
which is called a sin-offering ; because it was prescribed to be 
offered upon the commission of an offence^ and after it the offend" 
ing person was considered as if lie had never sinned* The 
resemblance^ between thb dbath of christ (according to this 
account of the nature and object of it J and these sacrificbs for 
SIN, appears to me to be a sufficient foundoHon for iU being 
called by that name: and would abundantly justify the metaphor , 
even without making any allowance for the greater licence in the 
use of figures which we expect in the East. Why^ then^ should 
we look for more points of resemblance^ between the death of 
CHRIST and a sacrifice for sin, than those mentioned above: 
when the language of Scripture by no means requires any more? 

Yetf upon this single circumstance^ has been erected a system 
qf principles^ which is, in the most essential points^ the reverse 
of the plain christian doctrine of salvation by Jesus Christ* 
Priestley's One great End. Works, vol. vii. p. 221 — 22Sw 
See also Hist, of Corrupt, part ii. sect. S, Works, vol. v. 
p. 105—121. 

In the present citation from a writer, who is justly acknow- 
ledged to be one of the most eminent of his School, there are 
many tilings, which well deserve our attention. 

I. According to Dr. Priestley, in the books of the New 
Testament, where they exhibit the death of christ as being 
A sacrifice for sin, there is so large an infusion of Oriental- 
ism : that, while their bold metaphorical style, in the enuncia- 
tion of this particular, would impose upon nobody in the East ; 
it would infallibly mislead those less fortunate Occidentals, who 
did not bring to the reading of them an acquaintance with 
asiatic diction, united with a portion of common sense sufficient 
to develop their true and proper meaning. 

1 . Such is the statement of Dr. Priestley : and the circum- 
stance, which it characteristically indicates as inevitable, has 
doubtless occurred. 


Books, 80 constructed as infallibly to mUUad all save the 
Christians of the East, have, most admirably and most eifectn- 
ally, performed their appointed office. In the greek or oriental 
Churches, indeed, if we may believe the word of a professed 
historian, the scriptural language, reladve to the death of 
CHRIST being a sacrifice for sin, imposes upon nobody: for, 
throughout those Churches, Dr. Priestley's view of the phrase- 
ology before us has always, from the first, been invariably 
adopted. But, certainly, in the ^V«/, on the single circumstance 
of THE DEATH OF CHRIST being scHpturally exhibited as analo- 

DISPENSATION, has been erected a system of principles, which, 
in the judgment of Dr. Priestley, m, in the most essential points, 
the reverse of the plain christian doctrine of salvation by our 

2. How the christian doctrine of salvation can be plain ; and 
yet how the phraseology, in which this plain doctrine is pro- 
pounded, must infallibly mislead all save natives of the East 
where it imposes upon nobody : Dr. Priestley is not careful to 
explain ; though, to the uninitiated at least, such a matter might 
apparently require some explanation. 

Let this, however, pass. We are at present concerned with 
an examination of his theory of Orientalism. 

(1.) The Gospel, we are assured by the sacred writers, was 
eminently to be preached to the poor and to the ignorant. Nor 
was it to be confined to the privileged Orientals : it was equally 
to be propounded to the Occidentals also. 

Such being its professed character, it was, of course, in all 
its grand essential doctrines, to be remarkable for its easy intel- 
ligibility. Whence, by Isaiah, it was prophetically described, 
as a public high-way, in which ordinary travellers, even though 
possessed of small mental acuteness, should be in no special 
danger of erring. Compare Isaiah xxxv. S — 10. with Matt. xi. 5. 
and Luke vii. 21 — 23. 

(2.) Yet, according to the paradox offered to our acceptance 
by the ingenuity of Dr.- Priestley, though the phraseology of 

VOL. II. P '^ 


the Gospel could impose upon nobody among the more sagacious 
Orientals, it would infallibly mislead all other persona who were 
less favourably circumstanced. 

And, agreeably to this somewhat unexpected view of the 
matter, in point of fiict we actually find : that, with the excep- 
tion of a few scattered Antitrinitarians, the whole body of the 
people, denominated Christians^ have, in all ages, been thus 
grievously imposed upon and misled. 

(S.) According, however, to Dr. Priestley's statement of the 
question ; that such an event should occur, was only to be 

For the admirably contrived phraseology of the Gospel is 
such : that, with the sole exception of the privileged Orientals, 
it must infallibly mislead all who are destitute of what he calls 
common sense. 

In other words, with the single exception of individuals bom 
and educated in Asia, it must infallibly mislead all those poor 
and plain and ignorant persons, who, when Christ is repeatedly 
and systematically described as a sacrifice for m, in the depth 
of their simplicity believe him to ^ what they constantly find 
him styled. 

(4.) Now, as Dr. Priestley well knew, TertuUian with much 
truth declares : that Persons of this sort must always, in the 
very nature and necessity of things^ constitute an immense 
majority of believers. 

Therefore, if we can follow Dr. Priestley, we shall be content 
cheerfully to hold : that the Gospel, though specially intended 
for the poor, was yet, in point of phraseology, so constructed, 
that it must needs infallibly mislead them. Nothing at least, 
if they were born and bred elsewhere than in Asia, could save 
these unhappy men from necessary error, but a diligent appli- 
cation to teachers, who would assure them : that, fVhen Christ 
is styled a sacrifice, such phraseology is an oriental figure ef 
speech^ which really means that he was not a sacrifice. 

(5.) But we have not even yet arrived at the end of Dr. 
Priestley's prodigious paradox. 


The historian grayely infonns us: that, in the privfleged 
Bast, such language impoies upon nobody. 

Now, in the connection wherein it stands, this information is 
plainly equivalent to an assertion : that Nobody in the Easiwfu 
ever to imposed iipofi by the phraseology of the Gospel, as to 
deduce from it the doctrine of Christ being the strictly proper 
piacular sacrifice appointed to make satisfaction to the Father 
for the sins of all mankind. 

Such is the assertion : but how stands the notorious fact ? 

Why, the Orientals have been quite as much misled as the 
Occidentals. For the doctrine of Christ being made a strictly 
proper piactUar sacrifice was no way peculiar to the Latin 
Church of the West. From the earliest times, it has equally 
prevailed in the various Churches of the East : notwithstanding 
Dr. Priestley's assurance, that the phraseology of the Gospel, 
in regard to the sacrificial character of Christ, there imposes 
ftpon nobody. See Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 200, 201, 
264, 265. Bamab. Epist. § vii. Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. vii. 
Oper. p. 707. Cyril. Hieros. Catech. xiii. p. 122, 130. Euseb. 
Demons. Evan. lib. i. c. 8. p. 24, 25. Athan. de Incam. Verb. 
Oper. vol. i. p. 43. Athan. cont. Arian. Orat. iii. Oper. vol. i. 
p« 192, 193. Cyril. Alex. cont. Julian, lib. ix. p. 303. 

II. In arguing, however, with Dr. Priestley, on his own 
gratuitously alleged ground that Christ is styled a sacrifice 
only metaphorically or figuratively , I concede far too much. 

1* To a modem antitrinitarian speculatist, the theory of 
Orientalism may be sufficiently commodious: and Scripture, 
indeed, has, no doubt, its own figurative language : but here, in 
truth, the theory, advocated by Dr. Priestley, is wholly inap- 

(1.) When, in allusion to the lamb which under the Levitical 
Dispensation was daily offered up in sacrifice, Christ is called 
The Lamb of God and is described as A Lamb that had been 
slain ; or when, in similar allusion to the paschal lamb, it is said 
of him, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us : in each of these 
cases, tropical language is clearly and indisputably employed ; 

Dd 2 


for no man, let him be oriental or occidental) will contend, I 
presume, that our Lord was literally the ovine animal which 
was used both as the daily sacrifice and as the paschal sacrifice. 

Here, every thing is, at once, self-evident to the meanest 
comprehension: here, every thing is, at once, instinctively 
manifest to that common sense^ which Dr. Priestley would have 
us bring to the reading of the Scriptures. 

(2,) But will he, or any admirer of his, pretend to say : that 
The circumstance of Christ being called a sacrifice is no less 
indisputably a trope, than the circumstance of Christ being called 


To make any such assertion is to carry the very brand of 
absurdity impressed upon the forehead of the asserter. 

A man, as we all know, may literally be a sacrifice : for, 
in almost every age and country, human victims have been 
literally devoted. 

But, as we all likewise know, it is a perfectly dear case : that 
a man cannot literally be a lamb. 

Hence, when a man is styled a sacrifice and when an animal 
is styled a sacrifice^ Dr. Priestley can have no right, prima 
faciej to say : that a scheme of phraseology, which in one case 
is confessedly literal, in the other cast must of necessity be 

In making this assertion, he begs the very matter in debate. 

When, under the Law, a lamb or a bullock is called a sacri" 
fice : is it so styled by virtue of a trope? An answer vnll 
readily be given in the negative. 

Wiien, under the Gospel, Christ is called a sacrifice : is he so 
styled by virtue of a trope? Dr. Priestley peremptorily 
answers in the affirmative. 

Yet, on the principles of just interpretation, what right has 
he thus dogmatically to insist upon giving an affirmative answer? 
Where, from common sense, which he invokes to his aid, has he 
any proof, that no answer save an affirmative answer can be 
given ? 

In the bare language itself, as is clear from the case 


of the lamb or the bullock, there is nothing necessarily 

When Christ ia styled a lamb, we are undoubtedly bound 
to pronounce such language tropical language. But, when 
Christ is styled a sacrifice, we are fw way bound to pronounce 
such language a trope or a figure. For, though a man can 
never literally be a lamb : it is quite clear, that he may liieraUy 


Hence it is evident: that Dr. Priestley, in roundly pro- 
nouncing the present scriptural phraseology to be tropical, and 
in dogmatically placing it to the score of that convenient thing 
called Orientalism^ is, in effect, assuming the very point which 
he ought to have proved. 

How does he know : that the circumstance of Christ being 
styled A SACRIFICE is tropical; while the circumstance of ^ 
bullock or a lamb being equally styled a sacrifice is confessedly 
not tropical ? 

The interpretation of the Catholic Church, both oriental and 
occidental, from the very beginning itself, is positively against 
him : and, if we adopt his view of the matter, we have abso- 
lutely nothing to build upon, save his own gratuitous unsup- 
ported assertion. 

2. But, even independently of the judgment of the Church 
Catholic, we may, from an honest examination of the New 
Testament itself, readily learn the notion, under which Christ 
is denominated a sacrifice. 

(1 .) As at present I am obliged to consult brevity, I know 
not where we can more commodiously or more reasonably turn 
for information than to a treatise, if such there be, professedly 
written on the subject. 

Happily, a treatise of this exact description will be foimd in 
St. PauFs Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Of that roost valuable Work the special object is, to explain 
the ancient Ritual Law, and to shew its bearing upon Christ- 
ianity. In such a Work, tropes and metaphors would be pal- 
pably misplaced. They would darken, not illustrate, the sub- 


ject. The Apostle b writing a treatise, AOt a poem. He 
speaks as an expositor, not as a rhetorician. Upon Christ 
himself he hestows no figurative names. He is simpfy shewing 
the connection of the Law and the Gdspel. He is merelj 
illustrating the true, character of the Redeemer by a systematic 
adduction of the ritual observattces of the Levitical IXispeA- 

(2.) In prosecuting this plan, what does the impired Apostle 
tell us? 

He declares, in general : that The Law was a ikadaw aj good 
things to come. And he asserts, in particular : that The <acrt- 
fr:es under the Law prefigured and represented the sacrifice (^ 
Christ under the Gospel, 

Throughout the whole treatise, these two ideas are indus- 
triously twined together. What the sacrifices of lambs and of 
bullocks were to the Jews, the sacrifice of Christ is to Christ- 
ians. With whatever notion the former were sacrificed, with 
the self-same notion also was the latter sacrificed. 

The efiicacy, indeed, of the former, waa purely typical: 
while the efficacy of the latter is real and substantial. But still 
the bestial victims under the Law, and the human victim under 
the Gospel, were, respectively, a sacrifice, in one and the same 
sense of the word sacrifice. 

Unless this be conceded, we must indeed admit the Apostle 
to be a most inconclusive reasoner* For, be it observed, hje is 
not dealing rhetorically in tropes ; but he is prosecuting a syS' 
tematic argumentation: he is not indulging in the figures of 
prophecy or of poetry ; but he is at once explaining the typical 
character of the legal sacrifices by the solid character of the 
christian sacrifice, and propounding the true nature of the 
christian sacrifice by the already familiar nature of the legal 

If the antitrinitarian scheme be the truth, and if Dr. Priestley 
be a sound expositor of what is written concerning the sacrifice 
of Christ : never surely did man take more hearty pains to 
perplex a very plain subject and to conduct the whole multitude 



of the fiuthfiil into gross error, than St. Paul did. If there be 
no greater resemblance between ike tacrifice of Christ and the 
Moer^iees wider the Law than what Dr. Priestley is willing to 
aOow : never snrely was a train o£ avowed illustrative exposition 
more infelicitously and more injudiciously chosen, than that 
which has been selected by the Apostle. 

Instead o£ illustrating, his exposition serves only to darken : 
instead of teaehktg, it serves only to mislead. The fiuilt is in« 
herent in the very mode of instruction which has been adopted. 
For darkness and confusion and misapprehension must always 
be the result, whenever one matter is expressly declared to be 
the very double or shadow of another matter : while yet, in the 
most striking and important point, nay in that very point more- 
over on which the writer specially insists, there is, between the 
two» no sort of mutual resemblance, 

VerOy, on any principles of that common sense which Dr. 
Priestly claims so eminently to patronise, the behaviour of 
Su Paul is quite unaccountable. 

According to Dr. Priestley, his object was to teach : that, 
Althougk Christ might orientally be called a sacrifice, because 
he died in the service of virtue and for the purpose of procuring 
the greatest possible benefit to the human race ; yet he was no 
REAL SACRIFICE FOR SIN in any such sense, as were the piacular 
sacrifices under the Levitical Dispensation. 

Suehy according to Dr. Priestley, was the object of St. Paul 
in his illustrative exposition of the ancient sacrificial ritual. 

Nevertheless, in avowed pursuance of this object, and for the 
purpose of more effectually demonstrating that the death of 
Christ was no real or literal sacrifice : the Apostle strangely 
illustrates that death, under the very name of a sacrifice, by 
those legal sacrifices of animals, which were well known to be 
strictly piacular, and respecting which every one must perceive 
that Not any one of the sacrificed animals could be said to have 
died in the cause of virtue. In other words, he illustrates the 
death of Christ by certain rites and ordinances, which, in point 
of nature and principle, were essentially and altogether dissimi- 


lar : he proves that death to be no real sacrifice, by the pro- 
fessedly comparative adduction of what were real sacrifices : he 
demonstrates it to be not piacular, by placing it in the same 
class or in studied juxta-position with what confessedly were 

Nor is this done hastily and briefly and carelessly and inci- 
dentally. On the contrary, the illustration is worked np da- 
borately and prolongedly through a whole treatise : the strict 
ideal affinity of animal sacrifices under the Law and of the sacri' 
fee of Christ under the Oospel being, in truth, the very suiject 
of the treatise itself. And, wherever, in other writings by the 
same author, the same topic is (as it were) parergically intro- 
duced : still the identical illustration is employed which per- 
vades the entire of the regular treatise* 

Certainly, if such were the object and such the plan pursued 
by St. Paul, it is small wonder : that his illustration and his 
phraseology should infallibly nuslead the whole Catholic Church 
in every age and country. Certainly it is small wonder : that 
Cyril and Augustine, speaking the old familiar sense of the 
Universal Christian Community, should lay it down, from the 
language of the Apostle, as a matter past all reasonable contra- 
diction ; that Christ, like the piacular sacrifices under the Law, 
was a strict and proper sin-offering. 

'O Trav<To<ltoQ IlavXoc yiypaipi nov Trcpi t£ tov Oeov, koI Ilarpoc 
Kal avTOv TOV Yiov* Toy /ij) yyovra dfiaprlar, vnep rifiuty dfiap- 
riay eiroirjae, Qvfia yap ytyoyey vrep hfiaprlag, *Qyofia(ovTO 
^E at ^fiaprtai to. vTrep hfiapriSiy cr^a^o/io^a. — ITpo^ijXov ^^ iroi; 
Koi Hiraaiy eyapyeg, wc ovk ky toIq alyiyfxaai fidXkoy, dXX iy 
toIq Bi ahrwy trrjfjiaiyofiiyoiQ to dXrfOe^ £K(f>aiyiTai, Xpicrroc yap 
itni TO &fiLjfjioy Ovfxa, to djjiftrjXov lepeloy, ov TedyeatTOc virep 
ilficHy KaTO. adpKa, yiyova^ty y/ietQ dTrowofjnraloL, tout corty, 
d7rt(ft0LTi}(Taixty Qavarov Ka\ iftdopaq' £K\e\vTpuffieOa yap ry aifxaTi 
avTov, Cyril. Alex. cont. Julian, lib. ix. p. 303, 304. 

Dicit Apostolus: Ohsecramus pro Christo, reconciliamini 
Deo. Eum, qui non noverat peccatum, pro nobis peccaium fecit ; 
ul nos simus justitia Dei in ipso, Deus ergo, cui reconciliamur, 


fecit eum pro nobis peccatum ; id est sacrificium per quod 
dimitterentur nostra peccata : quoniam peccata vocantur sacri- 
ficia pro peccatis. £t utique ipse pro peccatis nostris immola* 
tus est, nullum habens Titium, solus in hominibus quale quaere- 
batur tunc in pecoribus quo significabatur unus sine vitio ad 
▼itia sananda venturus. August, contra Pelag. et Celest. de 
peccat. original, lib. ii. c. $2, Oper. vol. vii. p. d04. 

III. Abundantly manifest as it is, that there is neither trope 
nor metaphor in the fact of Christ being so repeatedly called a 
gacTtfice^ but that our merciful Saviour really »« what he is per- 
petually dtnomintUed : it can only be a matter of curiosity to 
learn what Dr. Priestley means, when he says ; that Our Lord 
might orientally be described as a sacrifice^ because he died in 
the cause of virtue and for the purpose of procuring the greatest 
possible benefit to the human race, 

1. With respect to his dying in the cause of virtue^ it is rea- 
dily allowed : that» by no uncommon figure of speech, we are 
wont to say ; that a man became the victim of malice , or that he 
fell a sacrifice to his opinions. 

According to the purport of such phraseology, Socrates was 
a victim, and Paul was a sacrifice. With a similar idea, Christ 
himself also, no doubt, may be figuratively styled a sacrifice 
and a victim : for, as Dr. Priestley very truly remarks, he cer- 
tainly died in the cause of virtue. 

(1.) But this possibility of language is not exactly the point. 

The question is not : whether Christ might not be figura- 
tively called a victim^ just as Socrates and Paul might be simi- 
larly designated, because he died in the cause of virtue. 

But the question is : whether this can really be the sense, in 
which by the inspired writers he is styled a sacrifice, 

(2.) Now I will be bold to say : that, if plain common sense 
only be consulted (an operation, in the present inquiry, specially 
recommended by Dr. Priestley) ; we shall soon perceive, that 
our Lord is never called a sacrifice in any such figurative sense 
as that of dying in the cause of virtue. 

St. Paul, with an eye to his own approaching martyrdom, 


speaks of himself as being now ready to be offeredup: '£yi^ yap 
^hfi oirMoftat. But does he thence take occasion industriously 
to draw out, through an entire treatise, a long pandlel between 
himself and the animal victims which were offered up mider the 
Levitical Dispensation : intimating, «t the same time, ^lat the 
precise reference, which they bore to the Hebrew Church, ke 
bore to the Christian Church? Nothing of the sort: he 
briefly uses a very common figure of speech after a manner in 
which it was impossible for him to be misunderstood. 

Does he then pursue the same plan, when he speaks of Christ 
being a sacrifice ? So far from it, the difference is such that it 
may absolutely be touched and felt. When he speaks of Atm* 
self hting offered up : he briefly and transiently uses a figure 
of speech, with which we are all fiuniliar, and firom which no 
doctrinal conclusion can possibly be deduced. But, when he 
speaks oi Christ being a sacrifice : he is writing a professed 
treatise uqpon the nature and object of the Ceremonial Law ; 
and, in this systematic treatise, he unequivocally declares, that 
Christ was a sacrifice in the very same sense that lambs and 
bullocks were sacrifices under the Levitical Dispensation, Heb. x. 
1 — 14. If then lambs and bullocks can he sM to die victims 
in the cause of virtue, or if lambs and bullocks can be said to 
fall a sacrifice to the opinions which they maintained; Dr. 
Priestley's proposed orientalism, though the primitive Church 
knew nothing of it, may peradventure in the abstract be ten- 
able : but, conversely, if not ; not. Under whatever idea lambs 
and bullocks were sacrificed for sin during the continuance o£ 
the Levitical Dispensation : under that same idea, as we learn 
most plainly from the elaborate systematic treatise of St. Paul, 
was Christ sacrificed at the ratification of the Evangelical Cove- 

2. But, though Dr. Priestley denies Christ to have been a 
sacrifice in the proper and legitimate sense of the word, he is 
ready to acknowledge : not only that he died in the cause of 
virtue, but even that he died for the purpose of procuring the 
greatest possible benefit to the human race. 


(1.) What, then, ii this greatest poMtibU benefit? Dr. 
Priestley explains the whole matter in the course of the trac- 
tate, whence I have ahready made a very copious citation. 

ff Christ Iwed and died^ says he, to ascertain and exemplify 
the doctrine ofafuiure state ^ and if (as hath been represented) 
it mas impossible that this should have been done mthout his 
actual death and resurrection ; he certainly died for us or on owr 
account: and, without his deaths the great end of his mission^ 
our salvation from na, could not have been gained. One great 
End. Works» yoL vii. p. 216. 

Christ then, according to Dr. Priestley, was a sacrifice, be- 
cause he died and rose again to ascertain and exemjdify the doc- 
trine of a future state. But, without his actual death and 
resurrection, this could not have been done. Therefore, with- 
out his death, our salvation from sin could not have been pro- 

(2.) I am obliged to confess, that I cannot discern the force 
of any part of this reasoning. 

Even if we admit the statement of his premises to be per- 
fectly unexceptionable: still nothing can be more woefully 
Ological than the conclusion, which Dr. Priestley has drawn 
from them. 

The premises are ; that Christ was a sacrifice^ because^for 
our benefit^ he died and rose again to ascertain and to exempl^ 
the doetrme of a future state. The conclusion from these pre- 
mises is : that. Without his death, our salvation from sin could 
not have been procured. 

Now such a conclusion will by no means legitimately follow 
from such premises. On the theory of Dr. Priestley, Christ's 
death and resurrection might, we will say, be necessary to as- 
certain the doctrine of a future state : but I see not, according^ 
to Dx. Priestley's estimate of them, how either his death or his 
resurrection could be essentials, without which our salvation 
from sin could not have been procured. Certainly, from his 
avowed premises, by no dialectic machinery with which I am 
acquainted, can this most singular conclusion be extracted. 


The only legitimate syllogism, which can be framed upon 
them, will stand in manner following. 

It is quite easy to conceive : that salvation from sin mighi 
practically have been procured without any knowledge of the 
doctrine of a future state. 

But nothing more^ than the doctrine of a future staUy could 
be ascertained by the death and resurrection of Christ. 

Therefore^ without eitJier his death or his resurrection^ our 
salvation from sin, on Dr. Priestley's own principles^ might very 
well have been procured. 

The palpable fault, in short, of Dr. Priestley's reasoning, is this. 

He makes the attainment and exemplification of the doctrine 
of a future state an essential, n;t^Aou( which our salvation from 
sin could not have been gained* 

But, as this position is in no wise established by his syllo- 
gism : so, in point of fact, it is absolutely untrue. 

There is no conceivable reason : why, through a sufficient 
moral discipline and (as the Catholic will add) through the 
meritorious passion of Christ, salvation from sin might not 
have been gained by the human race, without any ascertainment 
and exemplification of the doctrine of a future state. Reformed 
man might have been saved from sin in a future state, even if 
it had not pleased God previously to reveal and establish its 
actual existence. 

Thus glaringly illogical is Dr. Priestley's reasoning, even if 
we admit the statement of his premises to be perfectly unex- 
ceptionable : but, in truth, the entire management o£ his argu- 
ment evinces a hopeless confusion of ideas not a little marvel- 
lous and extraordinary. 

That the resurrection of Christ from the dead was necessary 
to ascertain and exemplify, at least to our bodily senses, the 
doctrine of a future state : I can readily understand. But I 
cannot perceive: that his violent death upon the crossy the 
ONLY circumstance which even in Dr. Priestley's orientalised 
sense of the word could constitute him a sacrifice, was <U all 
necessary for tliat great object. 


The circumstance, which was necessary to ascertain and ex- 
emplify the doctrine of a future state, was not our Lord's yio- 
I.ENT deaths but his triumphant resurrection. So far as Dr. 
Priestley's statement of the matter is concerned, there was not 
the slightest need of Christ's tiolekt death or (as our expositor 
would say) o£ Christ* s figuratively becoming a sacrifice. Every 
end, respecting the ascertainment of a future state, would have 
been answered just as weU, if he had quietly died a natural 
death. For let us suppose that he had died a natural deaths 
and that afterward at the end of a month (when the fact of his 
death could not be doubted) he had triumphantly risen from the 
grave : would not (provided only the fact of his death were 
sufficiently estabb'shed) the doctrine of a future state have been 
quite as much ascertained and exemplified by the circumstance 
of his resurrection^ as if his death had been effected by the hand 
of violence ? 

The truth is, Dr. Priestley has oddly confotmded together, as 
JOINTLY constituting a single proof, the two perfectly distinct 
facts of Christ's violent death and Christ's triumphant resur' 

Now that common sense, which he so warmly patronises, 
may itself teach us : that the death of Christy whether violent 
or NATURAL, could be no proof or exemplification of a future 

The reality of this state could only be ascertained and ex* 
emplified by the fact of Christ's resurrection : and such proof 
and exemplification would be equally procured by the fact of 
his resurrection^ whether he had suffered a violent death or 
whether he had quietly died a natural death. 

Hence it is sufficiently clear : that, on the scheme of Dr. 
Priestley, there was no sort of occasion for Christ's violent death 
on the cross ; notwithstanding so much is said, on that precise 
point, in Holy Scripture. So far as the doctrine of a future 
state is concerned, such a death was wholly superfluous and 
useless. To say, therefore, on his own principles, as Dr. 
Priestley says ; that, without Christ's deaths that is to say, with- 


out Christ's violent death (for, through no other death, can 
the historian even anentaUse him into a sacrifice of any de- 
scription), the great end of his misnan, our salvation from fm, 
could not have been gained : to make such an assertion as this 
is phiinly, under every possible aspect, most inaccurate and 
most illogical. 

The great end of Christ's mission was our salvation from 

But, in the first place, the proof and exemplification of the 
doctrine of a future state is no way essentially necesaaxy to the 
accomplishment of this purpose : and, in the second place, even 
if it were essentially necessary, stil], according to Dr. Priestley's 
view of the whole question, the proof and exemplification of the 
doctrine of a future state, and thence the accompUshment of the 
great end of ChrisVs mission, might have been effected just as 
well by a resurrection after a natural death as by a resurrtctum 
after a violent death. 

To assert, consequently ; that Christ died far us or oncurae^ 
count, because he died a violent death, and thus became afigura^ 
tive sacrifice, for the purpose of ascertaining and exempUfying 
tJie doctrine of a future state : is palpably, on Dr. Priestley's 
system, most untrue and most incorrect. 

In fact, that whole system, when legitimately stated accord- 
ing to its necessary and inevitable bearings, goes directly to 
maintain, in evident defiance of Scripture and in presumptuous 
contempt of God*s predetermined counsels, the utter inutilitt 
OF Christ's violent death upon the cross. 



The text, which occurs in Heb. i. 3, 1 have briefly noticed M 
the mother text, firom which originated, and upon which were 
founded, the language and doctrine, common alike to the Ante* 
nicene Fathers and to the Nicene Creed : that The Son u <b- 
rivatively from the Father^ as light is from light. 

Whence it was concluded : that The Son from the Father U 
true God from true God^ inasmuch as light from light is true 
light from true Ught ; the Son with the Father being consulh 
Hantialf just as light with light is cmsubstantiaL See abov#| 
book ii. chap. 10. § n, iS. 

This text, however, which may justly be deemed the special 
scriptural basis of the doctrine of Consubstaniialityt deserveii 
from its high importance, a somewhat more extended coniidtr* 

The following is the form, wherein it stands in the original 
Greek of the inspired Writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews. 


I. In our common English Version, this place, somewhat in- 
adequately, not to say inaccurately, is translated as follows. 

Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image 
of his person. 

1. By thus rendering the passage, our translators, in the first 
place, lose all the force of the preposition diro in composition. 


For dtravyacFfxa r^c ^^ifjs is, not merely the brightness of his 
glory f but the refulgence from his glory : the refulgence itself 
emanating from the primordial glory of the Father. 

2. And, in the second place, they exhibit the word vroffra- 
flreoic, as here meaning person : whereas, in truth, it here means 
substance or essence or subsistence. 

II. The translation of Bishop Bull is more correct than that 
of our vulgar English : for he justly renders vwotrrtLffewQ by 
essentice. But he has equally pretermitted, what I deem the pe- 
culiar force of aVavyaer/ia : for he simply renders it splendor, 
as if the Apostle had written uncompoundedly avyatrfia. 

Splendor paternce gloricBy character essentice ipsius. Bull. 
Def. Fid. Nic. sect. ii. c. 4. § 5. 

III. On these considerations, I would render the passage in 
manner following. 

Who being the refulgence from his glory and the very impress 
of his substance. 

With respect to my translation of diravyatrfia rfjs ^(({i/Cy the 
phrase at once speaks for itself. But it may be proper to state 
the grounds, why, in common with Bishop Bull, who has not 
professedly entered upon the subject, I would render hwo- 
trrdaeuQ by substance rather than hy person, 

1. For the convenience of preciseness of expression, while 
the word ovcria was employed to denote substance or essence, 
the word vwoaraaiQ was at length exclusively employed to 
denote person or personal subsistence. 

Hence, when this system of phraseology was finally adopted, 
there were said to be three viroardveiQ in the single ohtria of the 

But, anterior to the Nicene Council, the sense of the word 
hirotrratrtg was by no means thus limited. For it was originally 
employed to denote, not only person or personal subsistence, 
but likewise subsistence in the sense of essence or substance : in 
which essence or substance more than one person may partici- 

2. This circumstance is remarked by Jerome in one of his 


Epistles to Damasus : and, perhaps not very reasonably, the 
irritable Father seems to have been a good deal dissatisfied with 
this limitation of the term. For he labours under the impres- 
sion : that, by alleging the existence of three hirotrrdtreiQ in the 
Deity, we might be misunderstood as alleging the heretical 
notion of three distinct and mutually different substances. 

Nunc igitur, proh dolor, post nicsenam fidem, post alexan* 
drinum juncto pariter Occidcnte decretum, trium htpostasbon, 
ab Arianorum prsesule et Campensibus, novellum a me, homine 
romano, nomen exigitur. 

Qui, quseso, ista apostoli prodidere 7 Quis novus magister 
gentium Paulus haec docuit ? 

Interrogamus : Quid tres hypostases posse arbitretUur 
inielUgi ? 

Tres personas subsistenteSf aiunt. 

Respondemus : Nos ita credere. Non sufficit sensus : nomen 
iptum efiOagitant ; quia nescio quid veneni in syllabis latet. 

Clamamus : Si quis tres hypostases aut tria enypostata, 
hoc est, Tres subsistentes personas, non conjitetur, anathema sit. 
Et, quia vocabula non ediscimus, hseretici judicamur. 

Si quis autem, Hypostasin usian intelligens, non in tribus 
personis unam hypostasin dicit : alienus a Christo est. Et, sub 
hac confessione, vobiscum pariter, cauterio unionis inurimur. 

Discemite, si placet, obsecro : non timebo tres hypostases 
dicere. — 

Tota ssecularium litterarum schola nihil aliud hypostasik, 
nisi USIAN, novit. Et quis, rogo, ore sacrilego, tres substantias 
prsdicabit ? Una est Dei et sola natura, quae vere est. — 

Sufiiciat nobis dicere : Unam substantiam, tres personas sub' 
sistenteSf perfectas, cequales, coceternas. Taceantur tres hy- 
postases, si placet: et una teneatur. Hieron. Epist. ad 
Damas. Ivii. Oper. vol. i. p. 163. 

(1.) In asserting it to be new phraseology to say, that There 
are three hypostases in the one Deity : Jerome, most assur- 
edly, is mistaken. 

The word InrSffraffiQ had been used, anterior to the first 

VOL. II. E e 


Council of Nice, in the sense both of person and of substa$^cef -or 
in the sense both of a personal suhnstence and of a substttudc 
essence. To Jerome, a Latin, it was familiar only in the laUer 
sense. Hence, when it came to be, by general consent, exclu- 
siYSLY employed in the sense of person or personal subsistence; 
while ohffla was reserved, exclusiyelt also, to denote substance 
or substratic essence: Jerome was scandalised; because he 
imagined, that The assertion of three hypostases m the Ood^ 
head was an assertion of three substances* 

(2.) Any dispute, respecting mere phraseology, may, atkast 
with reasonable polemics, be at once settled by accuracy of 

S. The same circumstance, of vwdtrraoic haying been em- 
ployed to denote substance^ was well known also, as we may 
naturally suppose, to the Greek Athanasius. 

Hence, for the avowed purpose of shewing ; that Origen^ in 
common with Theognostus and Dionysius of Alexandria^ nuttm' 
tained the doctrine of the covsvbsiavtiality of the Son with the 
Father : he cites a passage from that writer, in which the word 
ohaia indeed or the word ofwovffiog occurs not, but in which the 
doctrine is taught through the medium of the word vwderanc 
which Origen there uses in the sense of ohtria. 

This passage, which, because it contains not the precise 
term ovaia or oyLoovtrioQy I previously omitted to quote along 
with other passages asserting the tenet of consubstantiautt 
(book ii. chap. 10. § ii. 1. note.), is highly important, not merely 
as shewing the doctrine of Origen himself, but as teaching us 
how the text in the Epistle to the Hebrews was interpreted in 
the early Church. 

(1.) Origen deduces from it the doctrine of consubstan- 
tiality : and the mode, in which he effects this, is by under- 
standing the Apostle's word vvoaratTtiaQ in the sense of ohoUnQ 
or substance, and by then arguing that The Son cannot but be 
oonsubstantial with the Father, because he is a refulgence from 
the Paternal Glory and therefore homogeneous Light from ho* 
mogeneous Light. 


£1 Sifriy eUuty rov &io^ rov dopdroVf d6paro£ tUkfy, 'Eycir H 
Tokfx^^ac wpotrdeitiy &v, Sn koI ofioiarric Tvy\aviay rov Ilarpdct 
fAfK toTiy &re ohic ^y. I16re yap 6 Ot^e, 6 Kara roy 'loKivKifv 
^Aq X€Y6fityoc (6 Geoc yap ^«»c Itniy), diravyafffia owe €l\t rijQ 
liiac ^<^>7C ; "lya roXfififfac rig dp\tly if ilyai Xiov wp&rtpoy 
oinc oyroc. Ti6r€ H fi rfjg dfi^iirov icai dKaroyofidmov Ka\ iL^diyx* 
rov vwo9rdo€t$c rov Harpog ctrciiv, 6 xapaicrilp A<$yoc» 6 yiyittntiay 
roy Uaripa, ovk Jjy ; Karayoelru yap 6 roXfiwy ical Xiyuyf ^y 
wore Sr€ ohic Ijy 6 Ytog, 6rt kpei ical ro, iro^ia wore ovk ^y, xal 
A^yoc obx Ijyf Kal (laij obx ^v. Orig. apud Athan. Synod. Nic. 
cont. haer. Arian. decret. Oper. vol. i. p. 42d, 

(Jt.) Yet, though, as Athanasius rightly judged, Origen un- 
derstands, in the sense of substance or essence, the word vrotnaaic 
aa employed in the text from the Epistle to the Hebrews : he 
scruples not elsewhere to use the word in that sense of person^ 
to which, for the convenience of precision (notwithstanding 
the complaints of Jerome) it was afterward bxclusivelt con- 

'H/u7c fiiyroiyt rptig vjcotnavtig irtiB6fi€yoi rvy\dytiy^ roy 
TLfMripa koI roy Yloy ical rb^Ayioy Hyevfia, Comment, in Jo- 
hann. torn. ii. Oper. vol. ii. p. 56. 

Ei Bi rtc tr rovrwy vipitriravBittrtraif fiij irrj ahrofioXovfity wpoQ 
rove AKatpovvrac Svo civat viroardffeic Hartpa Kal Xi6y* — Gpi;^- 
KtifOfuy oly roy Uaripa rfjs iLXtjOelag Kal roy Yioy rijy ^X^decav, 
drra ivo r^ inroar&trei irpdy/iara. Orig. cont. Cels. lib. viu* 
p. SS6. 

4. The text in the Epistle to the Hebrews, thus, by the con- 
sent of the primitive Church, and indeed by the very necessity 
of intelligible language authoritatively propounding the doctrine 
of ike Cmsubstantiality of the Son with the Father and thence 
by inevitable consequence the doctrine of the true divinity of 
the Son : we may now add, to the host of Antenicenes who har- 
moniously assert the dogma of Consubstantiality, the venerable 
Qement of Rome, that fellow-labourer of St. Paul whose name 
is in the book of life. 

(1 .) Evidently on the authority of the text before us, as ap- 

E e 2 


pears both from the general context of the place and likewise 
from its express phraseology, Clement calls our Lord ike re- 
fulgencefrom the majesty of the Fatlier. 

*0c <3v drravyatrfjia Ttjt fuyaXuffvyfiQ avrov, Clem. Rom. Epist. 
ad Corinth, i. § 36. Cotel. Patr. Apost. toI. i. p. 168. 

But, by thus designating him, Cleinent avows his own belief 
to be : that Christ is light from lights and^ consequently^ true God 
from true God. 

(2.) In exact accordance with this belief, he professes, in a 
most valuable fragment preserved by Basil, to hold : that the true 
living subsistence, as contradistinguished from the dead gods of 
the Gentiles (agreeably to the just remark of Bishop Bull), is 
God and the Lord Jesus Christ and tJie Holy Spirit ; by the 
true God meaning the Father, wlio, by the early writers is com- 
monly thus styled simply, as being the airroOeoc or the ^nyil 

*AXKd Kai KXfifiric dpxdiKWTepoV Z^, ipiiffiy, 6 Oeoc koc o 
Kvpioe *lTjffovQ X|>(OToc KCLi TO llylvf^a TO^Ayiov. Basil. Oper. 
vol. ii. p. 358. Paris. 1G37. 

(3.) The three holy names, we may observe, he unites to- 
gether as in the baptismal form, which gave rise to what was 
emphatically styled the Symbol of the Trinity : and, on this 
union, which the School of Dr. Priestley would persuade us is 
an union of the Deity and a mere creature and an abstract 
quality, it is admirably remarked by Athanasius ; that In the 
very nature and reason of things, there can he no association 
of the creature rvith the Creator, no connumeration of the thing 
made with its Maker, 

Hola yap Koiyvjyla r^ KriafxaTi irpbq Krtor^v ; AcaW to xeirociy- 
pivov ovyapidfieiTai t^ Tloiii<TayTi etc ri^y rCjy trdyriay Ti\(.iitiviy\ 
H hiari if triffviQ Kad* v/idg lig Knarry Kal ey icrifffia wapaBi^ 
rat; Athan. cont. Arian. Orat. iii. Oper. vol. i. p. 218. 

5. Yet, while the early doctors held, on the necessary prin- 
ciple of the text in the Epistle to the Hebrews, that the Son is 
very God as being of the same substance with the Father : they 
carefully guarded against the notion, that by the birth of the 



Scuy the substance of the eternal Father was divided as if by 
abscission ; a notion, which would plainly introduce a species 
of polytheism. 

"Ort IvvaynQ ovri;, f^v koX Qiov kolKiI 6 Trpo^i/rcicoc Xdyog, ^ta 
TToXXHv kuravrwc dvoZiZiiKrai^ koX ^yyeXov, oh^ wq ro rov l)\Jov 
^C 6y6fAari fJL6yoy dptdfieiTaiy dWd ical dptdji^ srepoy ri ktrrl^ 
ical iy rolg irpoeiprjfJLiyois Sid fipaxitay rby \6yoy e^ijTatra, dvwy 
Hfy Svyafxiy ravrriy yeyeyyfjtTOai drro rov Harpo^, Bvyafui Kal 
/3ovXp ahrov' d\X oh Kara diroTOfirjyj utc dTrofiepil^oiJLiyriQ r^c 
rov ITarpoc oiro'/ac, hrola rd &XAa rrdvra fjitpti^ofieya ical rifi' 
rdfieya o{f rd avrd ktrriy a Kal irply r/u/O^vai* Kal irapadilyfiarot 
\&piy, irapecX//^cv rd utg airo irvpoc dyafrrdfuya irvpd erepa 
opwfuVf ohSiy ikarrovfUyov eKelyov e£ ov dyatpOfivai troXXd dv- 
yayrait dWd rahrov ^yoyrog. Justin. Dial, cum Tiyph. Oper. 
p. 281. 

IV. Thus, through the medium of the text in the Epistle to 
the Hebrews, with the primitive Church and by the very ne- 
cessity of inteUigible phraseology, we deduce the doctrine of 
the Son*s Consubstantiality with the Father from the express 
and unequivocal declaration of Scripture. 

M'MBER Vlir 

m^irni ^ If 7SK VOSD Of GOD. 

rhkh, opoD m superficial 
n t&e sfaionnr of the Son to the 
m jai ciSee and inhamanitatioD, but 
s ia eteminr of dnfadon. 
Ind to a stateneot of the primitive 
of the DiTine Word, I 

^c; unniss niy'TrmHi of^rry^ finsse apod semetipsum et in 

ntf^OHi; . Z'lmamm T%rx aoa sonper : diversa enim utrius- 

raK aimntTi'- Tew scbscartae ipsius nomen. id est divinitatis : 

f Tfrr^ nsK ssbtRiasap, sed potestatis. Substantiam 

fnsK nzzt sai? 3Kcxs3e. qood est Dens : postea Domi- 

sdtKXC rvf Tnaiao. Nam, ex quo esse cceperunt 

laamrr wn«c : ex iHo, per accessionem po- 

esc <c dknss Lhmaiks : quia et Pater Deus 

j!c J^jioix IV^cs esc : nxi tanxn ideo Pater et Judex sem- 

ntua rW'i:$ xtncter. Nam nee Pater potuit esse ante 

yihttir ~ UK JnSfx. lODf ^ebctnm. Frir autem tehpus, cum 

IT nirr* s-c^x rriT : quod Judicem, et qui Patrem, 

Sic e: Domioits dod ante ea, quorum Do- 

€S2nsraR . soi rVcrios tantum fiiturus quandoque : 

FiLzmk sknct Jodex per delictum ; ita et Domi- 

■•^ *e^ «*. ^a* «JK 5*rr« iiTcn Jecxsset. Tertull. adv. Hermog. 


I. I need scarcely to remark : that, from TertuUian's igno- 
Irance of the hebrew language, his whole criticism upon the latin 
word Dominus (most unhappily, from the septuagint greek 
Kvpeoc, employed to express the hebrew word Jehovah, which 
bears quite a different signification) is completely erroneous. 

But, though the criticism itself be erroneous, it fully sets 
forth the principle of TertuUian's reasoning : and thus it will 
act, as a sort of key to the entire passage. 

1. With respect to the prominent clause in the passage now 
before us, even if we were to allow, that TertuUian denied the 
eternity of the Son, we should only allow : that a very acute 
and inquisitive writer was, by the restlessness of his own mind, 
led to contradict the universal judgment of the Antenicene 
Church. But, in truth, no such concession either can or ought 
to be made. 

TertuUian denies not the eternity of the second person of the 
Trinity^ in the abstract : he merely, in the concrete, asserts ; 
that that person did not always exist under the specific character 
of the Sony according to the idea which he would himself annex 
to the term Son, 

His opinion is : that, when the first person of the Trinity was 
pleased, through the agency of the second, to create the world ; 
at that precise time, in the voluntary divine arrangement of the 
economy, the second person beglm to be the Son: so that, 
although the second person had eternally existed as the second 
person ; he did not begin to exist under the specific character 
of the Son, until the time arrived for the creation of the Uni- 

This opinion is distinctly expressed, in a single short sen- 
tence, by the ancient author of the Epistle to Diognetus. 

He, who is eternal, is reckoned a Son today. 

OItoq O AEI, SHMEPON Yioc ^oytadeig. Epist. ad Diognet« 
in Oper. Justin Martyr, p. 387. 

2. That such is his meaning, is evident from the whole tenor 
both of his statement and of his argument : for the statement 
and the argument are, manifestly, to the following purpose. 


In the same sense that the Son did not always exist, be tells 
us, that the Father likewise did not always exist : though God 
himself, at God, had existed from, and will exist to, all eternity. 
For God is an absolute term, importing the very essence of the 
Divinity: but Father is only a relative term, importing and 
involving the idea of Paternity, Hence, although the Deity in 
three persons had existed, absolutely as God, from all eternity : 
still the relative names of Father and Son, being strictly econo- 
mical and bearing an immediate reference to the creation of the 
world, commenced alike at the era of the creation. 

3. This speculation of Tertullian, 1 am no way concerned, 
either to defend or to oppose : I merely remark, that such was 
his speculation. 

His whole assertion, in short, is precisely the same, as if he 
had said : There was a timet when there was no Creator ; though 
there never was a time^ when there was not God, 

Absolutely, God ever existed : relatively, he existed not as a 
Creator until the creation of the world. 

4. In reality, if Tertullian had meant to deny the eternity of 
the Son in the same sense that an Arian or a Socinian denies it, 
he would have flatly contradicted himself. For, in another 
place, under the absolute name of Essential Truth, he direcdy 
asserts the eternity of Christ. 

Dominus noster Christus Veritatem se, non consuetudinem^ 
cognominavit. Si semper Christus, et prior omnibus : seque 
Veritas sempiterna et antiqua res. Tertull. de virgin, veland. 
§ j . Oper. p. 490. 

II. The speculation before us was no way peculiar to Ter- 
tullian : and, for the more complete clearing of the matter, it 
may not be useless to enter yet further upon the subject. 

Among the early ecclesiastical writers, the notion of A pro* 
cession or a demiurgic generation of the Word in the character of 
the Son is by no means uncommon. They seem to have adopted 
the doctrine, from a combination of John i. 1 8, with John i. 
1 — 3 and Heb. i. 5, 6. 

Through all eternity, they held, the Word was in the bosom 


iff the Father: which bosom of the Father they deemed his spe* 
cial place or habitation. But, when the universe was to be 
created, the Word, hitherto quiescent, issued forth or proceeded 
as the Son of God : and then, through his agency, all things 
were made. 

1. Thus TertuUian himself fully explains what he means by 
aaying, that There was a time when the Son was not. For he 
intimates ; that the Word had always existed in the essence of 
God, prior to the creation of the world : and ^let he states ; that 
the demiurgic generation of the Son took place, immediately 
before the creation, and /or the precise purpose of the creation. 

Aiunt quidem (hseretici) et Genesim in Hebraico ita incipere : 
In principio Deus fecit sibi Filium. Hoc ut firmum non sit, 
alia me argumenta deducunt ab ipsa Dei dispositione, qua fuic 
ante mundi constitutionem, adusque Filii generationem. Ante 
omnia enim Deus erat solus ; ipse sibi et mundus, et locus, et 
omnia: solus autem, quia nihil extrinsecus prseter ilium. 
Cceterum ne tunc quidem solus : habebat enim secum, quam 
habebat in semetipso, Rationem suam scilicet. Hationalis enim 
Deus, et Ratio in ipso prius : et ita ab ipso omnia. Quoe Ratio 
sensus ipsius est, banc Grseci A6yoy dicunt : quo vocabulo 
etiam Sermonem appellamus. — Tunc igitur etiam ipse Sermo 
speciem et ornatum suum sumit, sonum et vocem, cum dicic 
Deus: Fiat Lux, Haec est nativitas perfecta Sermonis, dum ex 
Deo procedit : conditus ab eo primum ad cogitatum in nomine 
Sophias ; Deus condidit me initium viarum : dehinc generatui 
ad efiectum ; Cum pararet ccelum, aderam illi : exinde eum 
parem sibi faciens, de quo procedendo Filius factus est ; primo- 
genitus, ut ante omnia genitus ; et unigenitus, ut solus ex Deo 
genitus ; propria de vulva cordis ipsius, secundum quod et 
Pater ipse testatur, Eructavit cor meum Sermonem optimum, 
TertuU. adv. Prax. § S, 4. Oper. p. 407, 408. 

2. To the same purpose speaks Athenagoras, relative to the 
ETERNAL cxistencc of the Word in the bosom of the Father 
anterior to his prolation for the purpose of creating the uni- 


U^pGroy yiyyrffui tlrai (roy Hdlda) rf HarftX^ ov\ «c yevdfie^ 

roy A&yoy, di^cwc Xoycicoc ^v. Atbenag. Legal. § x. p. 38, 89. 

S, In like manner also, Theo|^ilns of Antioch, after calliag 
the second person of the Trinity, The Ward who is ever m- 
herent m the heart of God, A6yoy roy oyra AIAIIANT02 ly^i- 
adtroy ky Kdpliq, Geot), proceeds to state : that, when God wished 
to create whatever he had purposed, he begat this Word in the 
way oi prolation, bom before the whole creation. 

'Osrore ^£ ifitKiiaty 6 OeoQ woifjffai Sffa l^vXtvtraro, rovroy * 
roy A6yoy iyiyytitrt irpo^piKoy, Tpwr&roKoy xdtnyc ktivi^k* 
Tfaeopb. ad Autol. lib. ii. § 22. p. 365. 

4. The same doctrine, likewise, we find propoimded by that 
very early Father, Justin Martyr. 

'AXXct rovTO ro rf oyri hirb rov TLarpoQ KpofiXtfOey yiyyiffia 
wpo wayriay rHy warifidriay avyfiy rf Ilarpl, Kal rovrf 6 TLari^ 
wpoffOfiiXel, «^c o \6yo^ Bid. rov SoXofiwi^oc e^^Xa^^cv, &n koI dpj(fi 
Tph travnay rSty woiiifjiarbty rovr* altro koI yiyyiifia vxo rov Geov 
eytyiyyrirOf 6 Jtoi^la Bia SoXoftwKOc icaXeirai. Justin. Dial, cum 
Tryph. Oper. p. 223. 

"On yiyeyyTJtrOai viro rov TlarpoQ rovro ro yivvii^a irpo Tray" 
rtay &.k\wc t&v KritrfiOLTtity, 6 \6yoQ IBtiXoV koi, ro ysyywfuyoy 
rov yeyywvTOs apidfif €rep6y cerri, irac oortc oiy ofioXoy^treu* 
Ibid. p. 281. 

5. His contemporary Iren^us, also, similarly maintains the 
ETERNAL existence of the Word with the Father, prior both to 
his creation of the world and to his assumption of the nature of 
his creature man. 

Ostenso manifest^, quod in principio Verbum existens apud 
Deum ; per quem omnia facta sunt, qui et semper aderat generi 
bumano; hunc novissimis temporibus, secundum praefinitum 
tempus a Patre, unitum suo plasmati, passibilem hominem fiic- 
^um : exclusa est omnis contradictio dicentium ; Si ergo tunc 
estf non erat anth Christus, Ostendimus enim, quia non 
coepit Filius Dei, existens semper apud Patrem. Iren. 
▼. luer. lib. iii. c. 20. p. 208. 


III. Uoder this Wew of the questioii, the ancients attributed 
to die Divine Word a three-fold generadoo. 

1. So fiff as hb fcnriil nature is ooooerned, the Word of 
God was begotten of the Father from all eternity; as an eter- 
nal river from an eternal fiMmtain, as an eternal genninatioo 
from an eternal root, as an eternal raj from an eternal sun : so 
that there never was a time, when the Word of God existed not 
in the boaom of the Father. 

Hence, as thns pemliariy and physicaDy existnag in the 
bosom of die Father, he is, as the Apostle qieaks, the oxi.r- 


'O /loroycnyc Yloc, o &y tie ^or woXwov top narfoc* Jchan- L 

2. Yet the Word proceeded from the Father energetically, 
when he went forth from him to create the oniverse : and this 
procession or prolation the early writers were accustomed to 
view as the demiurgic generadoo of the Son, in which (accord- 
ing to Tertullian) the Word first assumed the character of a 
Son to the Father. 

Hence he is denominated tie riasT-aoRH of the whole ere- 
atUm or hkm who was aoair before the whole creatkm. 

VLpmr^rotooQ m^^c KriviMq, Coloss. L I 5 

8. Again, when the same Word came down from the bosom 
of the Father, and entered into the womb of the Virgin, and of 
her became man throa|^ the obumbiation of the Holy Ghost : 
this also was esteemed a ggneration or birth of the Divine Word 
in the character of the Son of God. 

Hence, under this aspect, the predicted Christ is, by the 
angel, expressly caDed the Son of God or the Son of the MoH 

Yioc *Y^Vrw Kk/fiheiTOA. — hXjfikctrai. Yioc Otov. Luc i. 

IV. It may be proper here to remark : that, for the purpose 
of describii^ the prolatioo of the Son from the substance of the 
Father, some of the early ecclesiastical irriters occa«onally cite 
die greek mistranslation of Prov. viiL 22 ; in which mistransla- 


tion the Divine Wisdom is said to have been created by the 

KvpiOQ ttCTitri fit &px/jy o^wv ai/Tov etc cpya avrov. 
Such, for instance, is the case, with Justin, Athenagoras, 
Tertullian, and Dionysius of Rome. 

But, while they doubtless cite this text from the Greek of 
the Seventy, common equity requires : that their principle of 
citation should be explained by themselves ; and that they should 
not be hastily set down, by some rapid antitrinitarian speculatist, 
as teaching the creation of the Son, because they quote a text, 
which, in a palpable mistranslation, describes the Divine Wisdom 
as having been created (cirrio'c) by the Lord. 

1. Now Justin Martyr expressly tells us: that he under- 
stands the word ekTiore , in no other sense than that of begetting. 
For, though he cites the mistranslated text, he cites it for the 
avowed purpose of proving : that God the Father begat (ycycy- 
vriKt) from himself the Power, which is called God the Son or 
The Word of God. Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. j221. 
Compare Ibid. p. 281. 

2. Athenagoras, in like manner, cites the text to shew : that 
the Son was the first offspring {irpStTov yivytjfAo) to the Father ; 
that he was not produced in the way of making {ov^ mc 
7£vo/icyov) ; but that he was eternally inherent {elxev ahrog Iv 
eavT^ TOY Aoyov, ai^iufg \oyuc6c wv) in the Father. Athenag. 
Legat. § x. p. 38 — 40. Now the whole of this language is 
plainly incompatible with the idea of creation in our sense of 
the term. 

3. So likewise Tertullian professes to consider the word 
iKTiai^ as synonymous with begetting. Therefore he evidently 
views it, as not involving the notion of any proper creation, 

Denique, ut necessariam sensit ad opera mundi, statim earn 
(sciL Sophiam) condit et generat in seipso. DominuSy inquit, 
condidit me initium viarum suarum in opera sua. Tertull. adv. 
Herm. $ 8. Oper. p. 343. 

4. Even yet more express, if it be possible, is Dionysius of 
Rome. For he actually troubles himself, with what might well 


have been spared, had he consulted the original Hebrew of the 
Book of Proverbs : he actually troubles himself with a criticism^ 
by which he would shew ; that the verb iKritn does not neces- 
sarfly convey the idea of creation, but that in the text from the 
Book of Proverbs it ought to be understood in the sense of 
tetting a person over a thing: and the very ground of his 
criticism is an express denial that the son is a creature. 

Ov fiiioy ^ dy rig KarafiifjujfOiro Kai rovg jroirifAa tov Ylov tJyai 
io^Zoyrac, koX ytyoviyai tov Kvpcov, &<nrip ev n oi^rwc yevo- 
fUyuyf yofjU^oyrai' rHy dtluty \oylwyj yiyyritny ahrf rijy &p- 
lidrroveay koX irpitrovtray, aXX* ov\i irXaaiv riya Kai jrolritny^ 
wpoafiapTvpovyri»iy> BXaen^rifioy ovy ov to rv^oVf fieynrroy fiiy 
oJv, y^iipoirolifrovy rp&Koy riyhf Xiyeiy roy Kvpioy. Ei yap ye- 
yoyiy YioQ, ^y ore ovk ^v. 'Aei Se ily, tiyt ky t^ Harpi etrrty <ic 
avrdc fiicriy, koI ei A6yoQ koI 2o^/a Kai ^vvaynQ 6 Xpitrrog' 
ravra yap slyai roy Xpitrroy ac delai Xeyovcri ypa<pal ^airep 
iwiirraade, ravra Se ^vyafieig overai tov Qtov rvyj^ayoveriy. E* 
Toiyyy yiyoyty 6 Ytoc> ^y ^rc oifK ^y ravra' ijv &pa Kaipod ort 
\tap\Q roimay ^y 6 Qe6q' arorwraroy Be tovto, Kai ri hy eirl 
xXeoK vepi rovrtay irpOQ vfiag ^laXeyoZ/xf^v, jrpos ay^pag iryevfia" 
rofopovg Koi cratfttiQ kiritrrafieyovg rag aroiriag rag eK rov iroirifia 
Xiyeiy roy Xloy iLyaicvTrroverag ; Ale fioi Bokovvi fiij irpoaeff^riKeyai 
roy yovy ol Kadriyritra^eyoi rfjg Idlrjg Tavrrjgy Kai ^ta rovro KOfAi^ij 
rtfv AXtfiovg ZiriyiaprriKeyai, erepwg ij fiovXerai ravriy ^ dela Kai 
irpo^ffTiK^ ypcu^rit ro Kvpiog eKritre fie ap^i^y oBwy ahrov, ejc£e{- 
afuyoi. Oh fila yap ff roCEo-torcK, u>g \<rre, tnffjiaala' "Ejcricre yap 
iyravOa hKOvtneoyy kyrl rov, *Rire<rrri<re rolg vn avTov yeyoydviy 
epyoigf yeyoy6(n Be Bi* ahrov rov Ytov' oh')(l Be ye to "ExTitre yvy 
Xiyoir ay em tov *'Eiroiriere' Biatj^epei ydp tov iroifierai to KTierai. 
Dionys. Rom. apud Athan. Epist. de Synod. Nic. cont. hser. 
Arian. decret. Oper. vol. i. p. 422, Vide etiam Athan. Ibid, 
p. 410, 411. 

5. In truth, as it has been well remarked by Valesius and 

, Bishop Bull, the Antenicene Writers used the word KTi(eiy in 

the extended sense of production of any description, whether 


creative or generative: and the preceding authorities amply 
establish the justice of their remark. 

Accordingly, on this principle, Bishop Bull vindicates the 
phraseology of Clement of Alexandria, in styling the Son, with 
evident reference to the greek mistranslation of the text in 
Proverbs irpuroKrierroy aw^iav, 

Ab aliis id etiam in Clemente reprehenditur, quod Filium 
Dei alicubi dixerit irptar6KTi<nov tro^lay, prima creatam sapien- 
tiam. Sed frustra prorsus et illi sunt. Nam constat, vocem 
irnaroc, in eo Clementis loco, idem significare quod yeyyrfroi ; 
quemadmodum etiam Latin^ creare dicitur pro gignere, ut Sul" 
mone creates^ id est, progenitos, San^ Clementem non exisd- 
m&sse, Filium Dei esse creaturam, ex iis quse supra ex ipso 
attulimus, meridiana luce clarius est. 

Subjungam hie verba praestantissimi viri, Henrici Valesii. 

Certe veteres theologi, inquit, ac prcecipue rt qui ante ConcilU 
Nicceni iempora scripserunt, per vocabulum irr/f ecv, twn sottm" 
modo creationem intellexerunt qtue ex nihilojit, sed omnem gene- 
raliter productionem^ tarn quae ab ceterno esset, quam illam qua 
in tempore. Bull. Defens. Fid. Nic. sect, ii, c. 6. § 8. 




I HATS cited Teitulliany as one of die many Antemcenes : 
who, even expressly and in so many words, propounded the 
catholic doctrine of The Sak's cohsubstantialitt with the Fa-' 
iher. See above, book ii. chap. 10. § ii. 1. 

Nowy respecting the creation of man, this writer employs 
language : which, because it is liable to misapprehension and 
perversion, may seem to require a brief examination. 

Alluding to Gen. iL 7, he says : that Man was animated from 
the SUBSTANCE of God. 

Recognosce, ut ex imagine et similitudine Dei, quo habeas et 
tu in temetipso rationem, qui es animal rationale, a rationali 
scilicet artifice non tantum &ctus, sed etiam ex substaktia 
ipsius animatus. TertuU. adv. Prax. $ 3. Oper. p. 407. 

I. Lang^uage of this somewhat incautious description, which 
seems to have been used by others before it was employed by 
Tertullian, gave rise to the not unplausible objection of Marcion* 

Choosing to understand the expression as importing the a6- 
solute consubstantiality of man's spirit with the essence of God 
(much in the same manner, I suppose, as the pagan philosophers 
held the excerption of human souls from the essence of the 
Supreme Numen), he urged : that, in that case. The subsUxnce 
of God is made capable of sin. 

Quoquo tamen, inquis, modo, substantia Creatoris delicti 
capax invenitur ; cum afflatus Dei, id est, anima in homine, 
deliquit : nee potest non ad originalem summam referri corrup- 
tio portionis. TertuU. adv. Marcion. lib. ii. § 7. Oper. p. 176. 

432 THE AP08T0LICITY [[aPP. II. 

II. The reply of Tertullian, though it excuses not the un- 
wary incorrectness of the language employed hy his predeces- 
sors and himself, at least explains it to import no such mon- 
strous opinion as that affixed to it hy Marcion. 

He answers : that The breath of God is not the same as The 
Essential Spirit of God. For, though issuing forth from him, 
it still is by him created. Consequently, the soul of nuui, 
though breathed into him by God, is, nevertheless, a work or 
created production of God. 

In primis, tenendum, quod Grseca Scriptura signavit, afflaium 
nominans, non spiriium, — Homo imago Dei, id est, spiritus: 
Deus enim spiritus. Imago ergo spiritus, afflatus. Porro 
imago veritati non usquequaque adsequabitur. Aliud est, enim, 
secundum veritatem esse : aliud, ipsam veritatem esse, — Denique, 
cum manifeste Scriptura dicat, fldsse Deuvn in faciem haminisf 
et factum hominem in animam vivam, non in spiritum vivifica- 
torem, separavit eam a conditione factoris. Opus enim aliud 
sit, necesse est, ab artifice ; id est, inferius artifice. Nee ur- 
ceus enim, factus a figulo, ipse erit figulus : ita nee afflatus, 
factus a spiritu, ideo erit spiritus. Tertull. adv. Marcion. lib. ii. 
§7. Oper. p. 176, 177. 

Now, in no such inferior creative sense as this, does Tertul- 
lian say : that The Son and the Holy Ghost are of the sub- 
stance of the Father, His language, as I have already cited 
it, is far too definite and express to allow of any misapprehen- 
sion : nor does he ever give it any such qualifying explanation, 
as he gives his expression respecting man being animated from 


III. I have thought it right to notice this matter, lest some 
opponent should peradventure say : that, if Tertullian speaks 
of the Son being of the substance of the Father, he also 
speaks of man being animated from the substance of God. 

As the two expressions are different in themselves : so Ter- 
tullian, we see, as he himself teaches us, does not use them in 
the same sense. 



When our Saviour directly asked his disciples, Whom they 
pronounced him to be, or What sentiments they entertained re" 
specting his personal character : Peter, on behalf of himself and 
his fellows, promptly answered ; thou art the christ, the son 


This reply, specially revealed to the zealous Apostle not by 
flesh and blood but by direct inspiration from the Father which 
is in heaven, was so perfectly satisfactory, that it procured for 
him an eminent blessing: and, with that blessing, was associated 
a very remarkable and very important declaration. 

Thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my 


IT. Matt. xvi. 15 — 18. 

I. By the early writers, three several interpretations have 
been given of the rock upon which our Lord promised thus in- 
vincibly to found his Church Universal. 

Some, as Tertullian and Cyprian and Chrysostom in one part 
of his Works, supposed the rock to he the individual Peter: 
this high privilege, in consequence of his confession, being 
specially bestowed upon him to the exclusion of all other indi- 
viduals. Tertull. de Pudic. Oper. p. 767, 768. Cyprian, de 
Unit. Eccles. Oper. vol. i. p. 106 — 108. Cyprian. Epist. Quint. 
Ixxi. Oper. vol. ii. p. 194, 195. Chrysost. Homil. Ixix. inPetr, 
Apost. et El. Prophet. Oper. vol. i. p. 856. 



Otiiers, as Athanasius and Jerome and Augustine, supposed 
THE ROCK to be Christ himself. Athan. Unum esse Christ. Orat. 
Oper. vol. i. p. 519, 520. Hieron. Comment, in Matt* xvi. 18. 
lib. iii. Oper. vol. vi. p. 33. August. Expos, in Evan. Johan. 
Tract, cxxiv. Oper. vol. ix. p. 206. 

Others, again, as Justin and Hilary and Chrysostom in 
another part of his Works, supposed tub rock to be Petef^s in' 
spired Confession of Faith. Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 
Z55. Hilar, de Trin. lib. vi. Oper. p. 903. Chrysost. Serm. de 
Pentecost. Oper. vol. vi. p. 233. 

1. For the Jlrst of these three interpretations, there seems to 
be little assignable reason : save that, in consequence of his 
Confession, the name of Cephas or Peter or Rock was given to 
Simon. Whence it is concluded: that, since Simon received 
the appellation of the rock, he must, individually, be the rock 
upon which Christ promised to build his Church. 

But this reason is, at once, insufficient in itself^ and ittcoti'- 
gruous alike both with the spirit and with the phraseology of the 

(1.) In itself, the reason is altogether insufficient. For, ac- 
cording to the genius of hebrew personal nomenclature, the im- 
position of a significant name is quite as oflen commemorative 
of a fact, as it is indicative of an individual's character. 

Whence, as, in the present place, we are no way Ixmnd to 
adopt the latter sense : so the imposed name of the rock might 
seem given, rather to perpetuate the recollection of the heaven- 
inspired Confession, than to point out Peter himself, as the 
peculiar foundation of the Church CatlioHc. 

(2.) The reason, moreover, h incongruous alike both with the 
spirit and with the phraseology of the Gospel* 

In the highest sense of the word rock, it were even impious 
to deem the mere delegated servant Peter the foundation of that 
Church which securely rests upon Christ alone. 

And, in its lower and secondary sense, since all the Apostles 
are cgtia//^ declared to be the twelve foundations of the Church : 
it is difficult to comprehend, how Peter could be a foundation 


80 preeminently above his brethren as to deserve and to obtain 
this marked and very peculiar notice. Rev. xxi. 14. 

2. With respect to the second of the three interpretations, 
when it is soundly understood and received, it is doubtless un- 

But its inherent fietult is a' want of defniteness and pre* 
ciiioHj which might sanction the most unbounded latitudina- 

Christ kimselff say those great and orthodox divines Athana- 
sius and Jerome and Augustine, is the bock. 

Doubtless he is, according to their estimation of the Lord's 
personal character. But shall we say, that he is equally so, 
according to estimations of a totally different description ? 

That Christ is the sock upon which the Church is builtf both 
the Arian and the Socinian, if I mistake not, will be equally 
ready to profess. But their profession will not, therefore, be 
the profession of Athanasius and Jerome and Augustine. 

Now a declaration, which, from its indefiniteness, may be 
understood in three several senses : namely, that Christ, true 
God and true man, is the rock ; or that Christ, the highest and 
Jirst of all created beings, is the rock ; or that Christ, a mere 
man empowered of God to found a new religious community upon 
earth, is the rock : this declaration, thus palpably capable of 
misapprehension or perversion, can scarcely be the fixed basis, 
the immobile saxum, upon which our Lord promised to build his 
Church so securely that the gates of hell should not prevail 
against it* Such a foundation, thus left undefined and there- 
fore variable, instead of being a solid rock, seems rather to 
resemble the ever shifting sand of the desert. 

3. The third only of the three interpretations now remains : 
and, on every account, I apprehend, it is greatly and decidedly 
to be preferred. 

As it possesses the authority of being the oldest interpreta- 
tion upon record : so, inherently, it is the best. 

According to the venerable Justin, who was instituted in the 
Gospel only about thirty years afler the death of St. John, the 



ROCK is Peter's memorable and inspired Confession, thou art 


(1.) To this Confession we are immediately led by the ge- 
neral context. 

Simon receives a blessing for making it : and then says our 
Lord ; Thou art Peter y and upon this rock / mil build my 
Church. The Apostle makes a remarkable Confession : and, 
from the circumstance of his making this Confession, he com- 
memoratively receives the new name of the rock. What, 
then, can be the rock, which gave occasion to the commemo- 
rative name, save the Confession itself? As Justin well and 
briefly states the matter : Upon one of his disciples^ who was 
previously called Simon^ Christ bestowed the svrname of Peter; 
inasmuch as, through the revelation of his Father, he acknow- 
ledged him to be the christ the son of god. 

(2.) While we are led to Peter's Confession by the general 
context, the Confession itself possesses that very definiieness 
and precision which the mere unexplained name of our Lord 
necessarily wants. 

The ROCK, upon which tlie Saviour will build his Church, is 
not simply The Christ , viewed under whatever aspect this or 
that religionist may choose to view him : but the rock is The 
Christy as confessed by Peter ; that is to say, the rock is The 
Messiah, viewed in the single and well-defined character of the 
son of the living god, 

II. According, then, to the most ancient and in every respect 
the best interpretation, Christ builds not his Church even upon 
himself indefinitely. 

The opinion, which ought to be formed of his personal cha- 
racter he leaves not unspecified^ as if it were a matter of in- 
difference, and as if the naked acknowledgment of liis Mes- 
siahship were itself sufficient : so that his Church were equally 
secure and equally well founded, whatever doctrine she might 
receive and teach respecting his essential nature. But he pro- 
fesses to build that Church only upon the Messiah, viewed as 



Let the Church he founded upon this rock of Peter's in- 
spired Confession ; a Confession so vitally important, that, in 
perpetual memory of it, the Apostle received the additional 
name of Peter : and the promise nms ; that the gates of hell, 
or rather the gates of Hades (that is to say, utter and entire 
destruction from off the face of this visible earth), shall not 
prevail against it. 

Buty if the Church he founded upon any other than thb bock 
of Peter's Confession ; that is to say, if the Church be not 
founded upon the Messiah^ definitely viewed and acknowledged 
as THB SON OF THE LfviNO GOD: then, to the Church thus 
founded (supposing it possible for the true Church Catholic to 
be otherwise founded than its founder himself intended), the 
promise of invincibility and perpetuity were inapplicable. 

III. Such being the case, it must needs be a matter of deep 
import distinctly to ascertain the idea, conveyed by the phrase 
THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD : and, for this purpose, since re- 
vealed truth must ever be the most ancient while a departure 
from that truth cannot but (by the very terms of the propo- 
sition) be more modem, our wisdom will be to resort to the 
exposition of the primitive Church. For, since so much de-« 
pends upon a right understanding of the phrase, we can scarcely 
suppose that the inspired Apostles would have lefl the Church- 
in ignorance of its true meaning. 

Now, in the early Church, as far back as we can trace, the 
ascription of the title of the son of god was deemed the same 
as an ascription of essential divinity. 

Whence it was maintained : that, Whenever, by the inspired 
writers^ Christ is styled the son of god ; he is himself , by those 
writer Sf declared to be very and essential god. 

The FACT is important : and it ought not to be alleged with- 
out full substantiation. Let us, then, attend to the evidence 
by which it is supported. 

1 . When, at the martyrdom of Polycarp, the disciple of St. 
John, in the year 147, the scorched remains of the holy man 
were refused to his Smyrn^ans, for decent burial, on the plea ; 


that, Leaving the crucified one^ they would begin to worMp 
their deceased Bishop : the imputation was indignantly rejected; 
while, on the specific ground of his being thb son of ood» 
their acknowledged worship of Christ was vindicated. 

Him truly f said they, inasmuch as he is the son op qod^ we 

Tovroy }itv yop, Yiov ovra rod Qeov, irpotrKvrovfuy* Epist. 
Ecdes. Smym. $ xvii. 

Now the primitive Christians rejected all religious adoration 
as idolatrous, save only that of the one true God whom they 
worshipped as subsisting in three persons. 

Therefore, when the Smyrn^ans, in avowed oontradistinctioo 
to their mere love of the Saints, openly declared their adoration 
of Christ, inasmuch as he is tub son of oon : they plainly de- 
clared also their full belief, inculcated no doubt upon them by 
their late apostolically instructed pastor ; that the ascription of 
that title is nothing less, than an ascription of proper and es- 
sential DIVINITY. 

2. The same remark applies to the prayer of Poly carp's 
venerable fellow-disciple Ignatius : who suffered martyrdom, 
either in the year 107, or (as some think) in the year 116. 

Kneeling down, with all the brethren, we are told, he prayed, 
to THE SON OE ooD, on behalf of the Churches. 

OvTw, furd yovvKXialaQ Trayrwv tQv d^tXi^Qy, vapuKoXitrag 
Toy Yloy rod Oeov, vircp rwy iKKXritriwy, Martyr. S. Ignat. § vi. 

3. So, again, we are led to a similar conclusion, by the lan- 
guage of the very ancient author of the Epistle which bears 
the name of Barnabas. 

When Christ, says he, chose his /Apostles who were about to 
preach his Gospel: then he manifested himself to 6e the son 
OF god. 

But how did he thus manifest himself ? 

The author goes on to tell us : that The manifestation of the 
SON OF GOD was no other than the incarnation of the glorious 
Creator of tliat less glorious sun; the beams of which, neverthe- 
less, frail man is unable to gaze upon. 


"Ort Si Toit iilovQ dirotrrdXovQ, tovq fiiXXoyrac Ki)pv(r<ruy to 
€h€cyyi\ioy ovrov, c{eXe{arO| — totb ii^vipiatrey kavrov Yiov Gcov 
elrai, £2 ydp fi^ IjXdey ky trapKl^ irwc ay ierwdrifuy &ydpiMnroif 
fiXiwoyriQ ahrSy ; "Ori roy fiiWoyra fi^ elyai ijfXtoK, ipyoy yiipQy 
avTOv vTdfH^ovra^ ^XivovTtQ^ oIk ltr)(vov(ny tit aKriyag airrov 
dyro^daXfJLrjtrau Barnab. Epist. Cathol. § v. 

4. The same association of essential deitt with the title of 
THE son of god we may notice also in the writings of Justin. 

Christ f says he, preexisted : inasmuch as he is God, the son 


UpoihrffpjdEv, Yioc tov Hoitjtov rwy 6\uy Geoc &y» Justin. 
Dial, cum Tryph. Oper. p. 207. 

And again : Inasmuch as we have him written^ in the Acts of 
his Apostles^ the son of god ; and inasmuch as we call him 
THE SON : we perceive^ that he exists also before all created 

Yioy Qeov ytypa/ifiiyoy aWoy iy role dtrofiyTifioyiVfiaeri rQy 
dwoerrdXuty ahrov ixoyrec, Kal Yioy aWov Xiyoyregj veyofixafxey 
oyra Kal vpo irdynay rwy iroif^ftdruiy. Justin. Dial, cum Tryph. 
Oper. p. 255, 

It may be proper to remark : that this second statement of 
Justin immediately follows that very ancient interpretation of 
THE ROCK which he has so happily preserved. 

5. We find the same idea still prevalent in the Work of 
Novatian on the Trinity. 

Christy says he, wishes to he deemed god in his character of 
THE SON of god, not to he mistaken for the Father himself 

Deum se sic intelligi vult ; ut Filium Dei, et non ipsum, 
vellet, Patrem, intelligi. Novat. de Trin. in Oper. Tertull. 
p. 621. 

6. Finally, to descend still lower, this idea is stated with the 
most perfect distinctness by Cyril of Alexandria. 

Julian had alleged : that Neither Paul nor Matthew nor Luke 
nor Mark had ever dared to call Jesus god, hut only John the 
latest of the Apostolic Writers; and even he was induced to 
do so, merely because a great multitude, both in the Grecian 


and in the Italian Cities, had been infected with the humour of 
deifying and worshipping the deceased, 

(1.) In hifl reply, Cyril first sets himself to prove, that Paul 
directly called Jesus ood : employing, as his mean of demon- 
stration, the text, in which the Apostle styles him oop oyxk all 


(2.) And then, with respect to the three earlier Evangelists, 
he states, as the Church had always taught before him : that, 
In calling Christ the son of god, they ascribed to him proper 


Kalirep eiSdtriy wc itrri OeoQ Kara tf^vviv Koi 6\rfBwCf Yioy avrvv 
ovo/ia^eiv G£Ov. — 'AXX' ohde irpdroQ Etftrj Qeoy cIkoc ror ^Iriaovy' 
dWd Koi 01 irpo avTOv y£yf)a^orec, AovKdg re ^ly/xt, ical Mar6o7oc, 
Kol fiiy Toi Kai M<if>iCoc, Kvpioy ^€ koi Oeoy ity6^(oy aifroy, r^p 
vn^prarriy h6^ay airoy€fioyT€Q irayraj^ov, Cyril. Alex. cont. Ju- 
lian, lib. X. p. 328, 331. 

IV. The scriptural authority, on which the primitive Church 
held the title of the son of god to be perfectly equivalent to 
the title of god, was the recorded address of the angel Gabriel 
to the Virgin Mary. 

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee : and the Power of the 
Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy 
Thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the son op 
GOD. Luke i. 35. 

In this passage, the reason, why Christ is called the son of 
god, is distinctly stated to be the illapse of the Holy Spirit and 
the obumbration of the Power of the Higltest. 

Such a circumstance caused the offspring of the Virgin to be 
at once the son of god and tlie son of man : god, as the Church 
rightly interpreted and defined, of the substance of the Father, 
begotten before the worlds ; man, of the substance of his mother, 
born in the world. 

Hence the ground and principle, on which the primitive 
Church judged the ascription of the title of the son of god to 
be equivalent to an ascription of proper and essential divi- 
nity, is very clear and satisfactory. 


In the mutual heavenly relationship of the two first persons 
of the Trinity, there must he some analogy to the mutual 
earthly relationship of father and son : otherwise, the relative 
terms, Father and Son, we may he sure, would never have heen 
adopted. For, without the actual existence of some analogy, 
the use of such terms could only serve to mislead. 

Now, in the case of mutual earthly relationship, a father and 
a son are heings or persons of one and the same essential nature : 
and the rule holds equally good in all heings of an inferior 
order, which severally hear to each other the relationship of 
parent and offspring. 

Therefore, both from the whole analogy of nature, and from 
the very necessity of language founded upon that analogy, when 
Christ the Word is said to he the Son of God, and when con- 
sequently God is said to be the Father of that Son, the clear 
result is : that The Father and the Son must be persons of one 
and the same essential nature, or that The substance of the Son 
must be identical with the substance of the Fattier : in other 
words, that. As the Father of the Son is confessedly very God^ 
so the Son of the Father is inevitably very God likewise ; God 
the Father, as his actual name imports, being (as the early theo- 
logians were wont to speak) AuroOeoc, or God of himself while 
God the Son, as his actual name equally imports, is 6coc ik Qtov 
or God from God, 

1. Thus, accordingly, reasoned Cyril of Alexandria, in the 
passage to which I have already referred. 

It was a special point, says he, with the inspired theologiansy 
although they knew that Christ is God physically and truly, yet 
to call him the son of god, even the genuine offspring of the 
substance of him who begat him : inasmuch as he is eternally 
present and coexistent with him who begat him, and is known to 
subsist in the one nature of the Godhead, — Wisely, therefore, was 
it made a point, with the inspired theologians, to say : that He 
is physically the son of god. For, in such phraseology, the 
doctrine is altogether inherent : thai he, who is physically 
from ood, is himself truly god. 



Kac rot tnrovSil $ (tkokoc roZc Befiy^poii livf Kalwcp ti^oviy mc 
loTft Geoc Jcara <l>v<ny koI dXfiOwif tior avroy 6yo^(€iy Oeov, rat 
r^C Tov riKovTOc ohaiag yv^itrior yivvriiUL, Ctg dtl ovvdyra cai 
avvwdpyovra r^ ytvviioavTii koX iv rp /ic^ nfc Oecfniroc ^vvei 
yoovfuvoy 6vTa koX €yvir6<rraroy, — £lc oSv ^a koX oifK Aaof^g yt 
rdiQ Oetiyopoig 6 ffKowoQf ro ')(p^y(u Xiyeiy^ Yiov elytu icard ^wnr 
0€ou* its iy ye Sij rovrf irdyrrj re rat wdyrtitQ iyoy Toy Qeoy elyai 
rar* dXijOeiay roy U Qeov Kara ^vtriv. Cyril. Alex. cont. Julian, 
lib. X. p. S2S, S29. 

S. The reasoning, however, of Cyri], in the fifth century, was 
no novelty : it had long before been employed by Ireneus, who 
received his theology from St. John through the single interven- 
ing link of his master Polycarp. 

The Wordf says he, was God, by a necessary consequence. 


OeoQ ijy 6 Adyoc^ dicoXoudufQ' ro yap Ik rov Qtov yeryii^ty, 
Oed^eerriy. Iren. adv. hser. lib. i. c 1. p. 30. 

3. To the same purpose also argues Tertullian. 

Jesus was man, from the flesh : God, from the spirit. On 
that part where he was spirit, the angel pronounced him the son 
OF GOD : reserving /or the flesh his other title of The son of man. 
Thus also the Apostle, when he calls him The Mediator of God 
and men, has determined him to be a partaker of each sub- 

Jesus constitit, ex came homo, ex spiritu Deus : quern tunc 
angelus, ex ea parte qua spiritus erat, Dei Ftlium pronunciavit ; 
servans carni, fllium hominis dici. Sic et apostolus etiam, Dei 
et hominum appellans sequestrem, utriusque substantiae confir- 
mavit. TertuU. adv. Prax. § 17. Oper. p. 428. 

We say : that Christ is generated by prolation from God ; 
and, therefore, that, from the unity of the substance, he is 
called the son and god. 

Hunc ex Deo prolatum diciraus, et prolatione generatum : et, 
idcirco, Ftlium et Deum dictum ex unitate substantias. Tertull. 
Apol. adv. Gent. Oper. p. 850. 

4. Thus likewise argues Clement of Alexandria. 


The Lord is the Dhme Word^ the most eyidentlt teue god, 
who is equalled to the Lord of all things : because he was his 
SON, and the Word was in God. 

'O Kvpioc, — 6 Oeloc AAyoct o ^rtpwraroc crrt^ Oeoc, 6 rf 
Se<nr6rjf rAy SKmv c^i^m^c/c* ^^ liy Ycoc almv^ rac 6 \6yoQ ^yiv 
rf Oef. Clem. Alex. Protreps. Oper. p. 68. 

5. In like maimer reasons Athenagoras. 

If you wish to leam^ what the son means : in few words^ I 
will tell you. He is the first offspring of the Father^ hut not as 
any thing created : for God is from the beginning ; and, being 
an eternal mtfu^ he himself had within himself the Word, being 
eternally comprehensive of the Word. — We declare God the 
Father, and the son god, and the Holy Ghost. 

£2 oKOxiiv vfily tirtioiVj 6 Uaic rl fiovXxraif ipH ^cd ^payi^y* 
upwroy yiyyfifJM tlyai rf Harpl, oh\ vc yevdfJLtvoy* c^ dpyJiQ yap 
6 0coc» yovQ dt^ioc ^y, f^X^y auro^ iv tavrf roy A&yoy, di^dit^ 
Xoyucoc Ay. — Aiyoyrac Beoy Uaripa Kal Yloy Gcov koI JTvcv/ia 
"Ayioy. A then. Legat. § x. p. 88 — 40. 

6. The same argument is prosecuted by Novatian. 

As nature itself has prescribed ; that He, who is bom from a 
man, must be believed to be a man : so the same nature equally 
prescribes; that he who is born from god must be believed 
to be god. 

Ut enim prspscripsit ipsa natura, hominem credendum esse 
qui ex bomine sit : ita eadem natura prssscribit, et Deum ere* 
dendum esse qui ex Deo sit. Novat. de .Trin. in Oper. TertuU. 
p. 606. 

ne Holy Spirit, says the angel, shall come upon thee : and 
the Virtue of the Most High shall overshadow thee. Therefore 
that Holy Thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the 
SON OF god. — He, who is from god himself, is the legiti- 
mate SON OF GOD. 

Spiritus sanctus Teniet in te : et Virtus Altissimi obumbrabit 
tibi. Propterea, et quod ex te nascetur Sanctum vocabitur 
Filius Dei. — Hie est enim legitimus Dei Filius, qui ex ipso Deo 
est. Novat. de Trin. in Oper. Tertull. p. 614, 615. 


7. To the same purpose, again, reasons Dionysius of Alex- 

The one undivided Christy him who is coetemal and coimcom- 
mencing and concreative with the Father, he calls the son : for 
Jesus, who is the Word before all worlds, is the god of Israel; 
as is also the Holy Ghost. 

Yiov Bt \iyet, oy irpotrKvvti ff rStv &v(i> iiyitav wytvfidruty irXij- 
difg, roy lya Koi dfUpttrroy Xptenroy, roy ffvyatBioy rov TLarpoi, 
avydyapxoy, trvy^rifiiovpyoy ry Ilarp*' ^eog yhp 'lerparjiK 'Iiyo^owc 
6 irpo alwywy AoyoQ, wq Kal to "Ayioy Tlyevfia, Dionys. Alex. 
Quaest. adv. Paul. Samos. Oper. p. 244. 

8. Such also is the argument of Lactantius. 

Christ was made the son of ood through the spirit, and the 
son of man through the flesh : that is, both god and man. 

Factus est et Dei Filius per spiritum, et hominis per carnem : 
id est, et Deus et homo. Lactant. Instit. lib. iv. c. 13. p. 388. 

9. On this and other similar passages, it may be useful to 
remark : that the ancients used the term spirit, as opposed to 
the term flesh, for the purpose of setting forth, not the Holy 
Spirit or the third person of the Trinity particularly, but the 
divine nature or essence generally. 

Such phraseology is as old as the apostolic times of Clement 
of Rome : and it was borrowed, apparently, from that passage 
of Holy Writ, wherein Peter speaks of our Lord, during the in- 
termediate time between his crucifixion and his resurrection, as 
being dead in the flesh or in his human nature, but as being alive 
in the spirit or in his divine nature. 

*0 ^IrjcTOVQ XpioToc 6 Kvpiog, 6 (Tioarag iffiag, u>y fiey to irpwroy 
Tryevfia, kyivero arap^. Clem. Rom. Epist. ii. § 9. 

Oayarvjdeis ^liv aapKi, ^laowoirjOeiQ dt Tryevfian. 1 Pet. iii. 18. 
Vide etiam 1 Tim. iii. 16. 'E<payepa}drj ky trapKi, tBiKaiw^rj ky 

V. To this ancient argument of the Church it might be ob- 
jected : that fVe are all styled the sons of god ; and that God 
is spoken of as the universal father of mankind. Whence, 
if tlie ascription of the title of the son of god to Christ be die 


same, as an ascription of essential divinity to Christ: the as- 
cription of the general title of sons of god to all mankind will be 
the same, as an ascription of essential divinity to all mankind. 

1. For such an objection, the early theologians were far too 
well acquainted with Holy Scripture to be unprepared. 

They perceived: that Christ is styled, O M0N0rENH2 
YI02! 6 Ctv tig Tov Kokirov tov llarpoc, THE only-BEOOTTEN son 
who is in the bosom of the Father. John L 1 8. 

Now this title, the only-begotten son, would involve a 
falsehood : if the other title, the son of god, when ascribed to 
Christ, were interpreted in the same sense, as the title, the sons 
OF GOD, is interpreted, when ascribed in common to all mankind. 
For, if Christ be the son of god merely in the same sense, that 
we are all sons of god : he could not accurately have been de- 

Therefore, since Christ is styled, in plain and necessary con- 
tradistinction to the whole human race, the only-beootten 
SON : his title of the son of god, agreeably to the reason as- 
signed by the angel Gabriel for its ascription to him who in 
his human nature was the son of Mary, must be understood 

In other words, we must believe him to be called the son 
OF GOD properly and essentially and generatively : while men 
collectively are called the sons of god, catachrestically and 
non-essentially and creatively. 

OvKovy, eirtiMv Y(oc Qtov 6 Xptaroc Xeytrai Kal Gcoc, ical 6 
AyOpwirog XIoq Qeov Xiytrai Kai Oioq &v t^irj (lyiif ydp clfra, Oiol 
kariy ^riai, Kal Xiol *X\l/l(rrov wdyrtQ)' <l>t\oy£iKrier£ic TOt MONO- 
TENEI THS YIOTHTOS, kqI oh^h ipliane ahrov cxctv Kara 
rovro tTov rrXiov; Chrysost. Homil. iii. in Joban. i. 1. 

2. Of this distinction, between the proper and the catachres- 
tic use of the title, the Jews, in our Saviour's time, were evi- 
dently well aware. For, otherwise, they would never have said : 
that, According to their Law, Christ ought to die, because he 
made himself the son of god. John xix. 7. 


Had he claimed to be a son of God merely as every Jew 
claimed to be such (Hos. i. 10. John viii. 4iy 42.): they would 
never have alleged the gross absurdity ; that, on that account, 
he ought to be put to death as a blasphemer. 

So likewise, on another occasion, where we find the phraseo- 
logical terms of relationship inverted, the Jews sought to kill 
our Lord, because he said, that ood is his fathbe. 

Now, had he claimed God to be his father simply as ever^ 
Jew preferred the same claim: they could never, with any 
shew of decency or even of common sense, have identified such 
a claim with the palpable blasphemy of arrogating an equaUtff 
to God. John v. 18. 

Clearly, on each occasion alike, they were well aware of the 
distinction between the proper use and the catachrettic use of 
such phraseology : and, perceiving what our Lord never denied, 
that he employed it properly and not catachrestically^ they 
thence charged him with an assumption of essential divinitt; 
which assiunption, in the case of a mere man, would doubtless 
have been horrid blasphemy. 

S. Accordingly, as the very basis of the doctrine that The 
ascription of the title of the son of god to Christ is the same 
as an ascription of essential divinity to him^ this is the pre- 
cise distinction which was set forth by Justin Martyr only about 
some forty years after the death of St. John : and he is even 
verbally followed by Origen, who flourished about a century 

Christ is declared to be alone properly the son of god : 
while all other men, on the bare catachrestical ground that 
God is the common father of the whole human race, are pro- 
nounced to be nothing more than the sons of god commonly. 

Y(oc ^e Oeov 6 ^Irjarovc \ty6yLtyoQy it Ka\ K0INO2 iidvoy &v- 
dpwjroc, ^la <TO<lklay &ltog Yioc Oiou \iyeerdaC iraripa yap avhpHv 
T£ dewy T€ irayrec (Tvyypa^lg roy Qeoy KaXovmy, Ei Be Kal 
IAI02 napd rijy KOINHN yiveaty yeyeyytjaBai avroy Ik Gcow 
Xiyofiey A6yoy Gcov, «c irpoi<l>rifJLEyf KOiyoy rovro ttn^ vfiiy ro«c 



ror 'Ef>/iifK X&yor row rapk Bfov ayytkruoor Xf yovmr. Justin. 
Apol. i. Oper. p. 52, 

'Iifoovc Xpurrot f^i^oc TA102 Ycoc ly Bc^ yeyirrffrai^ Aoyoc 
avTod vrapxttr rcu IIfM#r«nicoc <v< Avro/uc- Justin. Apol. L 
Oper. p. 53. 

MONOr£NH2 yiip Sn ^w ry Barpi nir oXMr i^hxKf lAiQZ 
ii avTod Aoyoc <nu Awrofuc yiycrrtifuroc» Jnstia* DiaL eum 
Tryph. Oper. p. 260. 

^Hy 6 KYPU12 Ycoc Oeov, Gioc AayoCf koa AprafuCf iud 
Oeov 2o^ta, 6 caXovfceyoc XfM^roc* Orig. coot. Cels. lib. u 
p. 52. 

Unigenitds Filius salvator notter, qui fOLUs ex Patre natus 
est, SOLUS, natmra et non adaptume^ Filius est* Unus ergo 
Terns Deus solus habet immortalitateiii, lucem habitat inacces* 
sibilem. Unu$y ait, verm Deus : ne, scilicet, nraltis veri Dei 
nomen convenire credanius. Ita ergo et hi, qui accipiuDt spi- 
ritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo damant, Abha PaUff filii 
quidem Dei sunt : sed nan ncul uxioevitus Ftlnu^ Uvioivi« 
Tus cnini natura Filius, et semper et mseparabiliterf Filius est* 
Caeteri vero, pro eo quod susceperunt in se Filium Dei, potes- 
tatem acceperuut filii Dei fieri : qui, licet non ex sanguinibus 
neque ex voluntate camis neque ex voluntate vtri sed ex Deo 
nati sunt, nan tamen ea naticUaU sunt nati^ qua natus est u«i« 
GEMiTUs FILIUS. Oriff. Conmient* in Epist. ad Rool lib. i. 
apud Euseb. PamphO. Apol. pro Orig. in Oper. Hieron. 
vol. ix. p. 122. 

4. The Editor of The New Testament in an Improved Version^ 
as that recent translation is called by him, when commenting 
on John i. 14, vainly labours to escape the difficulty, occa- 
sioned by the palpably contradistinctive epithet MONOFENUS 


(1.) Respecting his painful attempt to explain away the 

meaning of the word, it is quite enough to say : tliat His per* 

fectly arbitrary and dogmatically gratwtous view of the term 

differs, toto coelOffrom the view which was taken of it by the pri" 

mitice Church. 


That Church understood Christ to be called the onlt-be- 
ooTTEN SON OF THE FATHER: bccause he ALONE, being bom 
from God (irapa rrjv Koivriv yivemv) differefUly from the ordi' 
nary course of production, is properly {i^lwc or Kvpiiao) the son 
OF ooD ; so that no other individual is a son of God in the sense 
wherein Christ is the son of god, though all may catachres^ 
tically bear the name {Koty&c) in common. 

(2.) In truth, unless this primitive exposition be received, the 
whole New Testament is a riddle and a paradox. 

The belief, that jesus christ is the son of the living god, 
IS described, as the very comer-stone of the Gospel, as the 
very rock upon which the Church is founded. 

Now, if nothing more be meapt by the phrase, than that 
Christ is the Son of God, just as all men in common are sons of 
God, or somewhat more specially as all pious Christians are made 
sons of God by adoption : it is incomprehensible, how the whole 
sum and substance of the Gospel, and how the entire solidity 
and security of the Church, could be contained in, and could 
rest upon, such a thoroughly vague and indeterminate and 
insignificant acknowledgment. 

VI. We may now, according to the judgment of the primitive 
Church, clearly see the reason : why the Messiah in the 
specific character of the son of the living god is declared 
by our Lord to be the rock, upon which he would so build his 
Church that the gates of Hades should never prevail against it. 

He founded it upon the doctrine of the Messiah's proper 
and essential divinity : he founded it upon the doctrine of the 
Messiah's being so god as the son, not so god as the father: 
he founded it, in short, upon the doctrine, as St. Paul spake, of 
the son's being the refulgence from the glory of god the 
father and the very impress of his substance. 

Such is the rock, upon which is built the true Church of 
Christ : and, since that Church, whatever may have been her 
faults in other respects, has never, in the worst of times, fallen 
off from this sure basis ; the promise of her Divine Founder 
has, on his part, been most faithfully performed. 


Secure under the protection of her acknowledged and wor- 
shipped incarnate God, even god the on lt- begotten son of 
THB LIVING GOD, the gatcs of Hades have never prevailed 
against her. 

Through a long series of ages, she has been troubled indeed 
en every side, yet not distressed : persecuted, yet not forsaken : 
cast down, yet not destroyed. 

Her vital principle of eternity is the eternal godhead of 


The perpetually shifting Empires of this transitory world 
may fade or may flourish. Persia may succeed to Babylon : 
Macedon may overthrow Persia : Rome may subjugate Mace- 
don: and Teutonic Valour may hew in pieces the mighty 
Kingdom of the Cesars. However they may successively have 
been instruments in the hand of God, and however their pur- 
poses may have been overruled to the furtherance of his pur- 
poses, still human policy has raised them up : and human poh'cy 
may pull them down. 

But, so long as the Church of Christ, the pillar and ground 
of the truth, is built upon the rock of Peter's inspired confes- 
sion (and, upon that rock, in one or other faithful portion of 
her universality, she will never cease to be built) : she is in- 
capable of utter destruction. Thus founded, the gates of Hades 
shall never prevail against her. 


VOL. H. C g 


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Adoration of the Host of Heaven. 2 vols. 8vo. 16.*. 


HORiE MOSAICS : or a Dissertation on the Credibility and 
Theology of the Pentateuch : comprehending the Substance of the 
Bampton Lectures preached before the University of Oxford in 1801 . 
Second Edition. 1/. 45. 


2 vols. 8vo. 1/. 45. 



. I 


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takea Irom the Building